Finding feces on the ground is usually a low point in the day, but a recent Burlington County find could mean big things for paleontology research.

A fossilized dinosaur feces, referred to as a coprolite, was discovered last year by a friend of Dr. John Anton, a professor in Rowan University’s School of Earth & Environment. According to Anton, the discovery is the first of its kind in New Jersey (unlike ancient shark coprolite, which are common). 

Anton has since run several tests on the sample, which is about the size of a grapefruit. He’s determined that the coprolite is from the Cretaceous Period and likely came from an herbivore because it “appears devoid of bone” and is “very flora rich.” 

Due to the sample’s size and location, Anton also concluded the source may have been a hadrosaur, which was a creature common in the area during the late Cretaceous Period. As he continues to analyze the sample, he expects to learn more about the plants and herbs found in the region during this time period as well as the animals that ate them.

November 2023
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