Dinosaur Poo

Article | Updated 10 years ago

Dinosaurs feeding habits can be revealed by studying fossil dung called coprolites.

Unfortunately, in most cases, coprolites cannot be linked to specific species. However in 1998 scientists described a coprolite weighing more than 7 kilograms from 68–66 million-year-old rocks in central Canada. The dung is packed with broken bone fragments from what appears to be a juvenile hadrosaur. The only theropod dinosaur, known from fossils in that particular area, which was large enough to have produced such a sizeable poo is Tyrannosaurus rex.

T. rex digestion

The mass of highly fragmented bones in

this dung indicates that T. rex had an exceptionally strong bite, crushing the bones to pieces. It also reveals that the digestive system of T. rex was quite different to that of living crocodiles, also meat-eating reptiles, which have highly acidic digestive juices that dissolve the hard, mineralised parts of the bones.

Bone fragments found in Tyrannosaurus rex fossilised poo

Bone fragments found in Tyrannosaurus rex coprolite.