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    Description

    MASSIVE DINOSAUR DROPPINGS
    Coprolite
    Jurassic
    Morrison Formation, Montana
    One misconception regarding these rare specimens is that they were maliciously named by eminent paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh after his arch-rival in the 19th-century American "Bone Wars", Edward Drinker Cope. In fact, in Greek, the name means "dung stone": in other words, dinosaur droppings. First described by famed paleontologist William Buckland in 1829 (from observations by the equally famed Mary Anning) these trace fossils are immensely useful indicators of dietary behavior, whether they contain the bone fragments of the carnivore's diet, or the fibers, plant material and gastroliths (stones swallowed to aid digestion) common to the herbivores; as such they also provide an excellent record of the fauna and flora of the contemporaneous ecosystem. Animal dung is highly susceptible to breaking up and dispersion, so coprolites are relatively rare in the fossil record; this is a massive example and although its source has not been identified, the size indicates it may well be from one of the massive Jurassic sauropods whose remains are found throughout the well-preserved formations of Montana. One section has been sliced and polished to show the internal structure and surprising array of soft colors, and another has been sliced to provide a stable base, the piece measures 17 x 8 x 11 inches.


    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    6th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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