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What is a Coprolite? Fossilized faeces - ie, dung.
A dinosaur coprolite is very rare so when we were offered what was said to be one, we accepted.
We were told that it had been dug out of a trench during building work at Seymour Plain. So we put it on display at the museum and it was an instant hit with visitors …. mainly children.
It is very heavy for its size, about as big as a large Christmas pudding. Some 7” (17cms) diameter it is brownish and covered with lots of holes. We thought it could be the real thing BUT we decided we better check. Bucks County Museum referred us to the NH Museum in Oxford. After a short wait a lengthy technical explanation arrived.
Sorry, but it is NOT a Coprolite but it is Millions of years old. It is a Sarsen Stone. A relict carried by ice in glacial periods. Compressed dirt, earth and stone under tremendous pressure. The holes are the vents where air and gas escaped. Unusual but not rare.
So we offer the formal description for you to consider and, as a talking point, we ask….. what if it had been a dinosaur’s poo? The biggest recorded ‘dinopoo’ was 17” (47cms) long and 7” (17cms) wide so our imaginary creature would have been a middle sized animal.
Which dinosaur might it have been? Young visitors can speculate but I hope we did not have too many T.Rex wandering around Marlow all those years ago. We have put a small model dinosaur with it for company.
What do you think??
- Objects in Focus 13 -
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