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I Like Poop- Mazon Creek Coprolites- A Visual Post


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Today I was looking at fossils that I have paid any real attention too in quite a while. I figured that I would try and organize some of them and I started moving containers and pulling out concretions that contained coprolites. The pieces that I was working with were larger pieces, and that is what this post will show. I have found coprolites in the Essex (Marine) and Braidwood (Fresh) biotas. Many collectors in the past would skip over coprolites, just like they did with Essexella asherea Jellyfish, but that is not me, I would pick them all up. Mazon Creek coprolites have been known to contain plant material, bone, fish scales, etc. Again, the following pictures will show some of the pieces in my collection and will not include smaller pieces or concretions that contain fecal pellets that are found associated with the leech, Coprinoscolex.

 

@GeschWhat Lori, you might like this post.

 

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Here is a Spiral Coprolite and it should be long to a shark.

 

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WOW!!!  Impressive collection.  I'll bet Lori will be salivating when she sees your post.

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Just now, Ruger9a said:

WOW!!!  Impressive collection.  I'll bet Lori will be salivating when she sees your post.

Thanks- I have sent her some in the past.

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Nimravis Thanks for posting! I have lots of "What the Blank is this!" specimens from Mazon Creek from the 60's to 80's and you've helped me identify some!

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Very impressive collection.

The spiral shark one is magnificent. :)

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9 minutes ago, Caverat said:

Nimravis Thanks for posting! I have lots of "What the Blank is this!" specimens from Mazon Creek from the 60's to 80's and you've helped me identify some!

Glad I could help.

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6 minutes ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

Very impressive collection.

The spiral shark one is magnificent. :)

Thanks Adam, I think I have a couple, but they are all over the place. As Robert De Niro said in the movie The Taxi Driver- "One of these days, I'm gonna get ORGANEZIZED". LOL

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Thomas.Dodson

Very nice. I was surprised when I first heard people pass over Mazon Creek coprolites. I was quite happy to get some nice ones this summer and the remains of scales and the likes is always striking.

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Brett Breakin' Rocks

Woah ... that is impressive. I am amazed that some of the coprolites have been associated with their creators. 

 

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Here are two apparently mis-identified coprolite specimens (I thought they were some type of a segmented arthropod!). The light blue grid is one inch.

11139_1.jpg

11140_1.jpg

Edited by Caverat
Forgot scale.
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And changing the subject, but continuing on possible misidentifications, here is a specimen I believe to be a shark egg capsule, Palaeoxyris sp. The light blue grid is one inch.

11141_1.jpg

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2 hours ago, Caverat said:

Here are two apparently mis-identified coprolite specimens (I thought they were some type of a segmented arthropod!). The light blue grid is one inch.

11139_1.jpg

11140_1.jpg

The bottom piece looks spiraled, so I would say Shark coprolite.

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2 hours ago, Caverat said:

And changing the subject, but continuing on possible misidentifications, here is a specimen I believe to be a shark egg capsule, Palaeoxyris sp. The light blue grid is one inch.

11141_1.jpg

I’m not seeing Palaeoxyris with this piece. I can see how you think that from the shape, by I just think it is the way the concretion split. Others may have another opinion.

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I, too, love a nice fossilized piece of coprolite. I have found animal bones in the chunks from Wyoming and recently I found a piece that had to have come from a very large fish. I am sure there are scales and what looks like small bones. How did you break the nodules so evenly? And how did you know what was inside?  

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50 minutes ago, Caverat said:

Thanks for your input! Any thoughts on the non-spiraled piece?

Sorry- that is coprolite, if you had the other piece it would contain it.

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36 minutes ago, jeannie55 said:

I, too, love a nice fossilized piece of coprolite. I have found animal bones in the chunks from Wyoming and recently I found a piece that had to have come from a very large fish. I am sure there are scales and what looks like small bones. How did you break the nodules so evenly? And how did you know what was inside?  

Most of these pieces I found already opened by weathering or possibly open by another collector who discarded it because he or she did not want coprolite. As far as what was in it, I am not sure what you mean, but I will give it a shot- through experience and having opened tons of concretions you get to know what the fossil is. If you are asking what is inside the coprolite, I never really look into that, if I looked with a stereoscope I might be able to determine that, but I just never have. I hope that answers your question. Now Lori @GeschWhat is the coprolite expert and she does investigate what is inside coprolite.

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I meant how do you know what is inside the concretion?  I find a lot of geodes and rarely open them. My grandchildren, on the other hand, spend a lot of time trying to pop them open without crushing the crystals.  I find a lot of oval and round rocks that are probably concretions but never thought they could have anything inside so now I’m thinking I should either have them cup open or freeze and thaw them.  I guess I’d hoped that there was something concrete (I couldn’t resist) to help identify those with fossils inside. 

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thelivingdead531

Nice collection! Since you were able to determine one of them as coming from a shark, is it possible to know what kind of animal the others came from?

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2 hours ago, jeannie55 said:

meant how do you know what is inside the concretion?

The area that these fossils are found were the site of old shaft and strip mines for coal. These concretions were found a couple feet above the coal seam and then the fossil collectors recovered them from the over burden. This is a very general explanation of how they were found and we are lucky that these concretions contain fossils. Unless you are in an area like I am, your concretions would not be the same and most likely not contain fossils.

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2 hours ago, thelivingdead531 said:

Nice collection! Since you were able to determine one of them as coming from a shark, is it possible to know what kind of animal the others came from?

Spiral coprolites are usually agreed to have come from sharks, besides  that, it would be anyone’s guess as to the animal(s) that made them.

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That’s a might fine collection of poop!

I have always enjoyed finding coprolites.

I have a few strange ones including ones containing horseshoe crab and scorpion parts.

 

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2 hours ago, thelivingdead531 said:

Nice collection! Since you were able to determine one of them as coming from a shark, is it possible to know what kind of animal the others came from?

There are coprolites containing lycopod brachts that likely are from arthropleura.

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1 minute ago, RCFossils said:

There are coprolites containing lycopod brachts that likely are from arthropleura.

Thanks Rob, I like collecting them, but never looked too closely at the pieces. 

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