Definition of coprolite in US English:



  • (in paleontology) a piece of fossilized dung.

    • ‘But the researchers who study coprolites, as fossil feces are known, say these dietary waste products can tell us much about dinosaurs and other ancient animals.’
    • ‘Researchers extracted DNA from this 30,000-year-old ground sloth coprolite - fossilized dung - in a Nevada desert cave last year.’
    • ‘These tissues can theoretically be identified from very small samples, such as fragments in dinosaur coprolites.’
    • ‘Thus, although wood, bones, and shells are the most common fossils, under certain conditions soft tissues, tracks and trails, and even coprolites (fossil feces) may be preserved as fossils.’
    • ‘New experimental evidence on the faeces of modern fish show that faeces must be buried in less than 24 hours if they are to be preserved as coprolites in the fossil record.’