Basically, a coprolite is fossilized shit. So what's the big deal? Should this phenomenon really warrant an entire sciency-sounding word unto itself?

Yes. Indeed, it should. Fossilized dung can tell us a lot about the diet of whichever animal it is suspected to have come from. This is extremely valuable information, considering the fact that bone fossils rarely give us many nutritional clues. Even teeth can only give us enough clues to make educated guesses at what ancient humans (and other animals) ate by observing their patterns of dental wear.

So next time you find a piece of petrified shit on the bottom of your shoe, think twice before destroying it. It could have come out of the ass of your ancestor.

Cop"ro*lite (?), n. [Gr. ko`pros dung + -lite.] Paleon.

A piece of petrified dung; a fossil excrement.


© Webster 1913.

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