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November 17, 2004

Were dinosaurs gourmets?


A new analysis of coprolites found off Devon Island


above the


Arctic Circle suggests that marine dinosaurs, about 73 million years ago, dined primarily on lobsters, clams, and snails, rather than fish.

But how, you ask, can you identify a coprolite?

You're not the first to ask this question.

Here's an interesting Q & A I found on EnchantedLearning.com:

    Q: How do paleontologists tell the difference between dinosaur poop and other rocks? They look the same to me.
    from Brigid C., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; July 27, 1999

    A: On the outside, they do look the same and are also made out of rock, but coprolites (fossilized poop) have an internal structure that includes the fossilized digested remains of a meal. For example, a recently found T. rex coprolite included crushed Triceratops bones. A rock wouldn't contain these.

November 17, 2004 at 11:01 AM | Permalink


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