Fossilized what?! Drop in and check out some fun facts about fossilized feces!
When you think about fossils, you probably think of dinosaurs or other old bones, but did you know feces can be fossilized? From crocodile caca to dino dung, join us as we explore the crappy world of coprolites with these 5 fun facts about fossilized feces!
To learn more about prehistoric poo, stomp into the Poozeum at Orlando Science Center!
What is a coprolite?
Also known as fossilized feces, coprolites are very old pieces of prehistoric poop that have become fossilized over a very long time. Coprolites come in a variety of shapes and sizes and they have been discovered on every continent on earth.
The world's largest corporate has a name.
Meet Barnum! At over 2 feet long and 20 pounds, or 67 centimeters and nearly
10 kilograms this eye-wateringly huge T. rex coprolite earned its title in 2020.
But why is it named Barnum? The coprolite is named after Paleontologist Barnum Brown, who discovered the first Tyrannosaurs rex. Interestingly enough, Barnum Brown was named after P.T. Barnum, the American showman, and Barnum & Bailey Circus founder.
You can make an awesomely crappy career out of it!
Scatology is the study of fecal excrement, as in the fields of medicine, paleontology, or biology. Archaeologists, paleontologists, and paleoscatologists study coprolites to learn more about a species’ diet, habits, and geography.
The “King of Fossilized Feces” George Frandsen on the other hand, opened his own museum -- or Poozeum, part of which is on display at Orlando Science Center! He has spent his life, scouring the globe for these specimens, and sharing facts about fossilized feces, hoping his enthusiasm for coprolites inspires others to immerse themselves in prehistoric history.
Coprolites are actually incredibly rare.
Coprolites are quite rare because they tend to decay rapidly. The quicker an object is to decay, the less likely it is to successfully fossilize. Fossilization takes time, and if the whole thing decomposes before it can finish, well, no fossil. That’s why hard and durable objects, such as bones and teeth, are much more common fossils than soft tissues like hair, cartilage, or coprolites. When they are found, they are most commonly found among sea creatures.
Where can I find fossilized feces?
Corporate has been found all over the world! But the good news is if you really dig fossilized feces, you can drop in to Orlando Science Center!
From dino dung to crocodile caca, over a dozen prehistoric poo-poos are currently on display. Specimens range in size and date back 11,700 to 200 million years ago. They were discovered all over the world, including some spots in Florida.