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World's largest dino dung -
Ottawa Citizen ^ | September 6, 2003 | Jacob Berkowitz

Posted on 09/07/2003 4:36:54 PM PDT by UnklGene

World's largest dino dung T. rex left an ancient calling card, writes Jacob Berkowitz.

Jacob Berkowitz The Ottawa Citizen

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Mountains, beavers and the Maple leaf. And with a recent paleontological discovery Canada could soon gain international recognition for another natural wonder -- tyrannosaurid turds.

A team of Canadian and American scientists recently identified an Albertan fossil as the world's largest dinosaur dropping, stealing the title from a T. rex turd found in Saskatchewan in 1995.

While stool size is notable, what's really exciting scientists about this latest find is what it contains: Incredibly well-preserved dinosaur muscle tissue.

The 75-million-year-old fossilized feces, formally known as a coprolite, was discovered in the late 1990s near the town of Onefour in southeastern Alberta by Wendy Sloboda, a freelance paleontologist who is currently leading a paleo-tourism tour in the Gobi Desert.

Ms. Sloboda also has the distinction of co-discovering the T-rex coprolite.

"She's got a very good eye (for coprolites)," says Karen Chin, the world's foremost authority on dinosaur coprolites.

Measuring in at 64 centimetres in length (slightly narrower than the width of the average kitchen stove) and up to 17 centimetres wide, the six-litre bulk of the Albertan coprolite rules out small dinosaurs from contention as the probable pooper, says Ms. Chin, who led the analysis of the specimen. And given the presence of bone fragments, and its age, Ms. Chin and her colleagues think the dropper was probably one of T-rex's earlier relatives in the Tyrannosaurid family, including either Daspletosaurus or Gorgosaurus.

When initially contacted about the find, Ms. Chin was reluctant to devote much time to the specimen, given the piles of paleo-poop she was already studying. That is until she took a trip to the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller to see it.

"Under the microscope I could see these impressions and I thought, whoa! It looks like muscle tissue, but it can't be muscle tissue, that would have been digested," recalls Ms. Chin from her office at the University of Colorado, where she's an assistant professor in the geological sciences department.

Preserved dinosaur soft-tissues, such as muscle and connective tissues, are extremely rare and are usually found in association with bones and some very well-preserved carcasses. However, when Ms. Chin took high-powered scanning electron microscope images of the coprolite, the images revealed the tell-tale parallel cell strands and longitudinal striations of muscle.

Even with this evidence, Ms. Chin wasn't ready to stick out her scientific neck and claim to have found preserved Mesozoic muscle in an old mound.

"One of the difficulties of identifying the remains in a coprolite is that they're outside of their anatomical context, they're all chopped, up," says Ms. Chin.

To seal the case, she had the specimen studied by Dr. Thomas Rando, a specialist in modern muscle tissues at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

"He was quite blown away by the extraordinary preservation," and confirmed that the forms in the coprolite were indeed some of the world's oldest remains of dinosaur flesh, says Ms. Chin.

In a paper on the find published in the latest issue of the scientific journal Palaios, the team of researchers that analysed the coprolite, including David Eberth from the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology, speculate that the preserved meat is the end result of a Tyrannosaurid that dined-and-dashed.

Gorging and gulping large chunks of flesh could have resulted in some of the ancient meal passing through its eater undigested. Based on the shape of the numerous bone fragments in the dropping, famed dinosaur hunter Jack Horner, one of the paper's co-authors, identified the prey remains as similar to those of the skull of a pachycephalosaur. This was one of the duck-billed dinosaurs, the bountiful herd-living Cretaceous equivalents of prairie buffalo.

Ms. Chin says that Canada's latest coprolite world-record holder reinforces the fact that "fecal matters" when it comes to the study of ancient animals. The coprolite and its well-preserved muscle tissue open up a new avenue for the study of not just dinosaur bones, but also the muscles that powered them. It's research that could help answer the question as to whether these terrible lizards were warm or cold blooded.

"People who aren't in this field hear about (coprolites) and wonder why I'm studying them and why I should get money to study this," Ms. Chin says.

"Generally though, after they learn what kind of information you can learn from them they get really excited about it."


TOPICS: Canada; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: coprolite; coprolites; crevolist; dinosaur; dinosaurs; godsgravesglyphs; paleontology; turass

1 posted on 09/07/2003 4:37:09 PM PDT by UnklGene
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To: PatrickHenry; *crevo_list
Dino doo-doo ping.
2 posted on 09/07/2003 4:38:24 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: VadeRetro; jennyp; Junior; longshadow; *crevo_list; RadioAstronomer; Scully; Piltdown_Woman; ...
PING. [This ping list is for the evolution side of evolution threads, and sometimes for other science topics. FReepmail me to be added or dropped.]
3 posted on 09/07/2003 4:40:12 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: general_re
He suddenly gazed up at the bartender and said, "Take this swill away and bring me a Copro LiteTM!"
4 posted on 09/07/2003 4:40:48 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: UnklGene
Ya learn something new everyday.

Paleo-cons.
Neo-cons.

Now
Paleo-tourists.
5 posted on 09/07/2003 4:41:34 PM PDT by tet68
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To: VadeRetro
Now this is a thread you can really sink your teeth into.
6 posted on 09/07/2003 4:43:18 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry
Measuring in at 64 centimetres in length (slightly narrower than the width of the average kitchen stove)

Well now we know what really killed the dinosaurs...all that methane! Whew!

7 posted on 09/07/2003 4:45:07 PM PDT by Aracelis
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: UnklGene
"Under the microscope I could see these impressions and I thought, whoa! It looks like muscle tissue, but it can't be muscle tissue, that would have been digested,"

I can only think of one explaination for stomach contents leaving the body undigested.
Irritable Bowel Syndrom

I don't even want to think of the mood of a T-Rex with that condition.

9 posted on 09/07/2003 4:48:24 PM PDT by The_Victor
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To: PatrickHenry
You have to be impressed with any animal that could poop out something the size of a kitchen stove. I thought pasture patties were big.
10 posted on 09/07/2003 4:48:48 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Piltdown_Woman
Something this big ought to be in "breaking news."
11 posted on 09/07/2003 4:49:00 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: UnklGene

12 posted on 09/07/2003 4:49:34 PM PDT by jwalburg (The Democrats are trying to overturn the results of free enterprise)
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To: jwalburg
LOL
13 posted on 09/07/2003 4:51:50 PM PDT by Fzob (Why does this tag line keep showing up?)
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To: jwalburg
LOL
14 posted on 09/07/2003 4:51:50 PM PDT by Fzob (Why does this tag line keep showing up?)
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To: PatrickHenry
...the probable pooper

LOL, I love it!

15 posted on 09/07/2003 4:59:36 PM PDT by Aracelis
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To: UnklGene
Thank you. I now know more than I ever thought I would know about dinosaur dung.
16 posted on 09/07/2003 5:02:27 PM PDT by Khurkris (Ranger On...)
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To: Piltdown_Woman
From the article:
While stool size is notable, what's really exciting scientists about this latest find is what it contains: Incredibly well-preserved dinosaur muscle tissue.

Ah, how I envy those folks. An opportunity for some real, hands-on experience.

17 posted on 09/07/2003 5:04:28 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry
Gotta get those gloves, remember them from Jussasic Park? Went all the way up to the armpits.
18 posted on 09/07/2003 5:07:17 PM PDT by Aracelis
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To: Khurkris
LOL! Me too!
19 posted on 09/07/2003 5:07:31 PM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: UnklGene; hellinahandcart; Lil'freeper; KLT; countrydummy; farmfriend; Carry_Okie; ned13; ...
Ahem! Shut the door! Can't ANYBODY go poo in peace?
20 posted on 09/07/2003 5:10:49 PM PDT by sauropod ("How do you know Sheila Jackson Lee's a queen?" "Because she doesn't sit with the little people")
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To: UnklGene
Send it to Hillary wrapped in Gray Davis's boxer shorts.
21 posted on 09/07/2003 5:11:14 PM PDT by jetson
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To: jwalburg; hellinahandcart; Doctor Raoul; W04Man
HELEN!
22 posted on 09/07/2003 5:12:14 PM PDT by sauropod ("How do you know Sheila Jackson Lee's a queen?" "Because she doesn't sit with the little people")
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To: UnklGene
I'm going to do it.

What a crappy topic!

23 posted on 09/07/2003 5:12:45 PM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (Further, the statement assumed)
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To: UnklGene
heck, i thought this article was about ole robert byrd's laxative kickin in.
24 posted on 09/07/2003 5:12:54 PM PDT by lonster
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To: jwalburg

I'm relevant...I'm relevant...I'm relevant...I'm holding my chin up.

25 posted on 09/07/2003 5:14:55 PM PDT by jetson
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To: sauropod; blam
Hahahahah. good one.
26 posted on 09/07/2003 5:17:36 PM PDT by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: UnklGene
Fossil feces from a carnivorous dinosaur. Specimen was found in southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada. Scale bar is 15 centimeters (approximately 6 inches) long.

The former champion!

27 posted on 09/07/2003 5:18:11 PM PDT by gitmo (The medals Kerry threw away were his then. But now they weren't.)
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To: gitmo
GAWD! That looks like Howard Dean's campaign platform!
28 posted on 09/07/2003 5:31:35 PM PDT by sauropod ("How do you know Sheila Jackson Lee's a queen?" "Because she doesn't sit with the little people")
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To: UnklGene
A team of Canadian and American scientists recently identified an Albertan fossil as the world's largest dinosaur dropping, stealing the title from a T. rex turd found in Saskatchewan in 1995.

Not only is it the largest, it's now leading in the Democrat Prsidential Primary polls.......

29 posted on 09/07/2003 5:37:51 PM PDT by Doctor Raoul
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To: farmfriend
"Hahahahah. good one."

I'm reminded of the harassment taken by Christy Turner (ASU) when he suggested that the ancient Indians had canibalised each other. The harrassment ceased when he found an ancient Indian corpolite containing human protein.

30 posted on 09/07/2003 5:43:02 PM PDT by blam
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To: UnklGene
"She's got a very good eye (for coprolites)," says Karen Chin, the world's foremost authority on dinosaur coprolites.

I guess it is possible to get out too much.

31 posted on 09/07/2003 6:08:36 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Howlin; Ed_NYC; MonroeDNA; widgysoft; Springman; Timesink; dubyaismypresident; Grani; coug97; ...
Just damn.

If you want on the new list, FReepmail me. This IS a high-volume PING list...

32 posted on 09/07/2003 6:09:35 PM PDT by mhking (And now for something completely different...)
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To: UnklGene
Ted Kennedy or Jerry Nadler?
33 posted on 09/07/2003 6:15:28 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: Piltdown_Woman
64 cm.....big deal! We have teamsters at work who beat this every day.
34 posted on 09/07/2003 6:26:19 PM PDT by Natural Law
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To: VadeRetro
He suddenly gazed up at the bartender and said, "Take this swill away and bring me a Copro LiteTM!"

And it better be a king sized Copro LiteTM ;)
http://wrgis.wr.usgs.gov/king-sized-coprolite.html

35 posted on 09/07/2003 6:31:38 PM PDT by BMCDA
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To: PatrickHenry; mhking; Alberta's Child
Ms. Chin says that Canada's latest coprolite world-record holder reinforces the fact that "fecal matters" when it comes to the study of ancient animals.

Well, finally Canada has something to brag about.

36 posted on 09/07/2003 6:35:16 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul (If you get all the conservatives in CA to vote for McClintock, he would still lose. Deal with it)
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To: Victoria Delsoul
Well, finally Canada has something to brag about.

Yes, but I didn't realize it went back so far in their history.

37 posted on 09/07/2003 6:39:08 PM PDT by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry
but I didn't realize it went back so far in their history.

LOL! Sure they did.


38 posted on 09/07/2003 7:09:10 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul (If you get all the conservatives in CA to vote for McClintock, he would still lose. Deal with it)
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To: UnklGene
Whenever creationists fight,
They say evolution is shite!
And like Adam's navel,
They say that the Devil,
Is behind the great big coprolite!
39 posted on 09/07/2003 8:25:08 PM PDT by Salman (Mickey Akbar)
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To: Victoria Delsoul
LOL. Well, they can also brag about Alberta. But that isn't exactly part of Canada.
40 posted on 09/07/2003 9:01:13 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("To freedom, Alberta, horses . . . and women!")
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To: Alberta's Child
LOL!!!
41 posted on 09/07/2003 9:03:36 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul (If you get all the conservatives in CA to vote for McClintock, he would still lose. Deal with it)
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To: jwalburg
post #12. That's one ugly pile of poop!
42 posted on 09/07/2003 9:21:43 PM PDT by UnklGene
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To: Victoria Delsoul; quidnunc; habs4ever; Entropy Squared; conniew
Indeed! Kinda puts the Chretien in perspective.
43 posted on 09/08/2003 4:05:48 AM PDT by sauropod ("How do you know Sheila Jackson Lee's a queen?" "Because she doesn't sit with the little people")
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To: BMCDA
And that's the previous record-holder!
44 posted on 09/08/2003 5:25:00 AM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: mhking
Proof positive that Taco Bell has existed since time immemorial.
45 posted on 09/08/2003 11:02:42 AM PDT by BSunday
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To: UnklGene
You should have waited until Sep 11, 2003 to post this. It would be more meaningful in many ways.
46 posted on 09/08/2003 1:37:55 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: VadeRetro
poomarker
47 posted on 09/08/2003 1:48:39 PM PDT by js1138
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks UnklGene.

Note: this topic is from 9/07/2003.

Blast from the Past.

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


48 posted on 11/05/2011 8:48:48 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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