Trend Rises with Fascination of Ancient Dinosaur Poop (Coprolite)
I’ve recently become aware that fossilized dinosaur poop exists. Scientists have a much nicer name for it – Coprolite.
There are two basic kinds of dinosaur dung – herbivore and carnivore. Conditions must be right for the preservation of this delicate substance, and therefore the chances of finding deposits are more rare than tougher bones.
In digging around the internet I’ve discovered that coprolite has a certain irresistible draw to it. Watch makers design watches with dinosaur feces faces, thieves steel chunks of it from museums, auction houses are able to make over $900 on a 3 inch piece and people sell humongous 91 inch circumference turds for $45,000 on Craigslist.
There is much to be gleaned from coprolite as it’s composition reveals the eating habits of ancient beasts that roamed the earth. There are many shapes and sizes to consider, and paleontologists debate over which creature deposited the many different types of dung.
Coprolite is often mistaken for odd shape rocks, but there are tell tale signs to let you know what you have on your hands. Chunky coprolite comes from carnivores. Certain shapes may be reminiscent of what might come out of an elephant or fido. The bottoms often have holes from insects that burrowed in for a meal. The best way to find out if you have coprolite is to study photographs of good specimens or to visit local natural history museums to make comparisons.
Recently there has been a trend with interior decorators, high end jewelry designers and even countertop makers to celebrate fossils as works of natural art. Smaller pieces of dino dung with interesting markings are cut and polished as was the case of the watch created by Yvan Arpa. Fossils and more recently coprolite is gaining in popularity as natural sculptural accents and conversation pieces. Natural tones are sometimes surprisingly mixed with bright oranges and reds when coprolite is cracked, revealing it’s story.
I look forward to the many discoveries in the world of ancient poo. The study of coprolite is a relatively new study in the world of paleontology and related natural science fields.