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Dr.  Stephen Godfrey, the Curator of Paleontology at the Calvert Marine Museum, has a special interest in bones and coprolites with bite marks.  I recently found the below fish coprolite (20 mm length) with bite marks in the Eocene, Nanjemoy Formation of Virginia and donated it to the Calvert Marine Museum.  Some bite marks are infilled with Pyrite.  It is by far the nicest example of a fish coprolite with bite marks that I’ve seen from the Eocene, Nanjemoy Formation of Virginia (I’ve collected over 50,000 fish coprolites (shark, ray and bony fish) from the Nanjemoy Formation over the last 25 years or so.).

 

 

326453221_FishCoprolitebitemarksEoceneNanjemoyFormationVirginia20mmlength8mmwidth1.jpg.f44008d63bfe6bf81610e52e235f6c61.jpg

 

1361335375_FishCoprolitebitemarksEoceneNanjemoyFormationVirginia20mmlength8mmwidth2.jpg.99db77ad9607b31bc470ae3c8bd2eada.jpg

 

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When I sent the bitten coprolite to the Calvert Marine Museum, I also sent along a donation of a gallon bag of regular fish coprolites from the Nanjemoy Formation.  Below is Stephen’s acknowledgement of the coprolite donation in the Ecphora newsletter.

 

 

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Marco Sr.

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Dr. Godfrey may have an Ig Nobel in his future.  This is a perfect example of research that first makes people laugh, then makes them think. 
 

I am amazed that this is a subject of study, and you knew who would use it to expand the body of knowledge. Good job Marco! And congratulations on making your contribution.  

 

 

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4 hours ago, Christine.Rowland said:

Dr. Godfrey may have an Ig Nobel in his future.  This is a perfect example of research that first makes people laugh, then makes them think. 
 

I am amazed that this is a subject of study, and you knew who would use it to expand the body of knowledge. Good job Marco! And congratulations on making your contribution.  

 

 

 

I interface with a lot of different researchers (currently 11 different researchers), and there are a lot of very unexpected areas of interest with fossils.  If you have an unusual, unique fossil specimen, there is probably a researcher somewhere that will be interested in studying it.  The real hard part is finding the right researcher that is interested.

 

Marco Sr.

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Sounds like we need to commandeer the source code for one of the dating apps and make our over paleo version of match.com. :P

 

Maybe I should register paleomatch.com just to be sure. ;)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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37 minutes ago, digit said:

Sounds like we need to commandeer the source code for one of the dating apps and make our over paleo version of match.com. :P

 

Maybe I should register paleomatch.com just to be sure. ;)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

 

Ken

 

It would be nice if there was a site where researchers could indicate the type of fossils that they were interested in.  However, I don't know how many researchers would post on it.  They might be concerned about being inundated with people wanting to show them common stuff or unrelated fossils.  I've found the best way to find researchers is by searching the web for PDFs of papers that deal with the fossil types, time periods and geographic locations that match my fossils.  A lot of papers give e-mail addresses for the authors.  I then e-mail pictures (If the pictures aren't clear and detailed, you won't hear back) of some of my rarer specimens to the researcher that are in-line with what they are describing in their paper.  I usually get a response back, but I have a good amount of rare and unusual fossils, and very large sample sizes, that pique their interest.

 

Marco Sr.

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Yup. Likely, the best way of connecting with specialists doing research in areas that match your fossil finds.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Bill Hoddson

Honestly, I've never given the idea of scavenger marks on a coprolite any thought.  I've read of predator/scavenger marks on bone, and even a report of marks on a dinosaur bone with marks identical to those left by beetles use in cleaning hunting trophies. 

 

I'll definitely be searching for more information on this.

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16 hours ago, Bill Hoddson said:

Honestly, I've never given the idea of scavenger marks on a coprolite any thought.  I've read of predator/scavenger marks on bone, and even a report of marks on a dinosaur bone with marks identical to those left by beetles use in cleaning hunting trophies. 

 

I'll definitely be searching for more information on this.

 

Bitten coprolites have been described in a number of papers.  Below is a figure that shows several bitten coprolites in the 2020 paper in Lethaia “Coprolites from shallow marine deposits of the Nanjemoy Formation, Lower Eocene of Virginia, USA“ which I am a co-author.

 

image.png.410be205245de961af629f7cb0beb847.png

 

Marco Sr.

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  • 11 months later...

This is really cool! I have what I believe is a similar piece from the cretaceous of Texas. It doesn’t immediately strike me as coprolite (but rather geologic?? - coprolites are a huge black hole in my knowledge) but has very similar bite / claw marks. Haven’t been able to get much info or buy-in when showing it around to the local groups. Do you know if Dr Godfrey’s focus includes the cretaceous? Images below. Piece is ~ 3” in length. 

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12 hours ago, Styles said:

This is really cool! I have what I believe is a similar piece from the cretaceous of Texas. It doesn’t immediately strike me as coprolite (but rather geologic?? - coprolites are a huge black hole in my knowledge) but has very similar bite / claw marks. Haven’t been able to get much info or buy-in when showing it around to the local groups. Do you know if Dr Godfrey’s focus includes the cretaceous? Images below. Piece is ~ 3” in length. 

EE8C9635-3E21-4321-BF63-EE199F8EBEB0.jpeg

2D157A40-6EA1-422B-B707-F374896166F7.jpeg

4A4E5FB1-87C1-4727-AF60-96AA0DD82C03.jpeg

F030B7E1-6F26-432B-AE05-82C330AA0823.jpeg

5B102622-649A-47E7-8D41-328AF4DDBBA3.jpeg

 

Wow, that is an interesting specimen.  The marks are especially interesting.  The shape of the specimen reminds me more of an infilled crab or shrimp burrow than a coprolite.  Do you know what those bulbous inclusions are?  I can't really tell from the pictures.  When I enlarge your pictures, the texture of the inclusions really doesn't look like bone.  If the inclusions are geologic, it makes it unlikely that the specimen is a coprolite.  In that case, the marks could be fossilized mud ripples, which I've seen before.  They could also be a trace fossil of some kind.  However, it is remotely possible that a coprolite was pressed into geologic gravel before it fossilized.  I have hundreds of coprolites that are completely flattened because they were covered, compressed and flattened before they fossilized.  However, none of them have geologic inclusions.

 

I know Dr. Godfrey has written about Paleocene and Miocene bitten coprolites.  He was interested in my coprolite, which is Eocene in age.  So I would expect he would also be interested in a Cretaceous bitten coprolite if this specimen turned out to be one.

 

Marco Sr.

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Wow great info!! Some very knowledgeable here on this forum. Appreciate your response and thoughts. Congrats again on your contribution to Dr Godfrey’s work. 

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JBkansas

Just recently saw the Disney+ documentary "The Croc that ate Jaws," Dr. Godfrey showed a crocodile coprolite with an un even shark bite (which he suggests may indicate the coprolite was in the crocodile at the time of the bite). 

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42 minutes ago, JBkansas said:

Just recently saw the Disney+ documentary "The Croc that ate Jaws," Dr. Godfrey showed a crocodile coprolite with an un even shark bite (which he suggests may indicate the coprolite was in the crocodile at the time of the bite). 

 

That is interesting.  I wish I had Disney+ as I would really like to see that documentary.

 

Marco Sr.

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