Geopic of the week: Coprolites

Poop_coprolite

Ok, I know what you’re probably thinking, and well….. you’re right!  Coprolites are fossilized feces.  The sample on the right is from out of state, but the fine specimen on the left came from good ole Arkansas, near the town of Saratoga.

Because poop has no hard parts (such as a skeleton or shell) it’s rarely fossilized, but under the right circumstances it can get preserved.  Often, it isn’t certain what animal was responsible for the coprolite, unless it’s discovered in the abdominal area of a fossilized animal.  In cases where it can be identified, it tells us something about the animal, that um…made it.  By closely examining  coprolite, it’s possible to recognize fragments of animals or plants, which give us information about the diet of that species.

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