Array of coprolite (fossilised dinosaur faeces)

Array of coprolite (fossilised dinosaur faeces)

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Credit: PETER MENZEL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A colection of coprolite at a fossil fair. Coprolites are the fossilised faeces of prehistoric animals. As it is very rare that a sample can be accurately related to a specific genus of animal, coprolites are classified according to their own taxonomy. Particularly well-preserved examples may reveal data on the animal's diet, especially in more recent mammals such as bears and cave lions. Fossil fairs provide a forum for amatuer and commercial collector to trade in prehistoric remains. Although frowned upon by many academics, amateur paleontologists have often made finds of previously-unknown species.

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Keywords: animal, animals, commercial, coprolite, faeces, fossil reptile, fossil vertebrate, fossilised, fossils, palaeontology, paleontology, vertebrates

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