Pyritised Fish Coprolite
Ancient fossilized Fish Poo (Coprolite) with Iron Pyrite (Fools Gold) mineral.
This piece has been polished giving the poop a beautiful lustre!
Size 1.5″ inches
Single piece of Fish Coprolite.
Age: Carboniferous Period 300million years ago
Coprolites are classified as trace fossils as opposed to body fossils. They give evidence for the animal’s behaviour.
Dinosaur coprolite (Dinosaur Poo) is fossilized animal dung. Like other fossils, coprolites have had much of their original composition replaced by mineral deposits such as silicates and calcium carbonates. The name comes from the Greek words ‘kopros’, meaning “dung” and lithos, meaning “stone”.
They serve a valuable purpose in paleontology because they provide direct evidence of how extinct lived.
Victorian Fossil hunter Mary Anning had noticed that “bezoar stones” were often found in the abdominal region of ichthyosaur skeletons. Found in the Lias formation at Lyme Regis, she also noted that if such stones were broken open they often contained fossilized fish bones and scales as well as sometimes bones from smaller ichthyosaurs. It was these observations by Anning that led the geologist William Buckland to propose in 1829 that the stones were fossilized feces and named them ‘coprolites’.
By examining coprolites, paleontologists are able to find information about the diet of the animal (if bones or other food remains are present). Like whether it was a herbivorous or carnivorous.
In one example these fossils can be analyzed for certain minerals that are known to exist in trace amounts in certain species of plant that can still be detected millions of years later.