coprolite

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n coprolite fossil excrement; petrified dung
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Coprolite (Paleon) A piece of petrified dung; a fossil excrement.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n coprolite A hard roudish stony mass, consisting of the petrified fecal matter of animals, chiefly of extinct reptiles or sauroid fishes. In variety of size and external form the coprolites resemble oblong pebbles or kidney potatoes. They for the most part range from 2 to 4 inches in length, and from 1 to 2 inches in diameter; but some few are much larger, as those of the Ichthyosauri, within whose ribs masses have been found in situ. They are found chiefly in the Lias and the coal-measures. They contain in many cases undigested portions of the prey of the animals which have voided them, as fragments of scales, shells, etc. Coprolites thus indicate the nature of the food, and to some extent the intestinal structure, of the animal which voided them. They are found in such quantities in some localities, as parts of South Carolina, that the mining of the phosphatic rock formed by them for manure constitutes an important industry.
    • n coprolite Any rounded concretionary mass or pebble containing largely calcium phosphate and representing the more or less altered debris of fossil bones, teeth, etc., used as a source of phosphoric acid in the manufacture of fertilizers.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Coprolite kop′ro-līt fossilised excrement of animals in Palæozoic, Mesozoic, and Tertiary strata
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gr. ko`pros dung + -lite,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. kopros, dung, lithos, a stone.

Usage

In literature:

But are there Coprolites here?
"Madam How and Lady Why or, First Lessons in Earth Lore for Children" by Charles Kingsley
No gnawed bones nor any coprolites were found by Schmerling.
"The Geological Evidence of The Antiquity of Man" by Charles Lyell
You have taken up the 'Curiosities of Coprolites.
"Heart and Science" by Wilkie Collins
Coprolites, discovery of, in Mysore.
"Gold, Sport, And Coffee Planting In Mysore" by Robert H. Elliot
What is the use of always mousing about for coprolites?
"The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 76, February, 1864" by Various
The coprolites lay undisturbed in countless numbers in the lias, the greensand, and the Suffolk crag.
"Talks on Manures" by Joseph Harris
Coprolites are now collected in very large quantities, and about 43,000 tons are annually employed.
"Elements of Agricultural Chemistry" by Thomas Anderson
Bouvard talked about coprolites, which are animals' excrements in a petrified state.
"Bouvard and Pécuchet" by Gustave Flaubert
This was superseded by coprolites and Estremadura phosphorite, Suffolk coprolites being for many years the chief material employed.
"Manures and the principles of manuring" by Charles Morton Aikman
In many places they have been worked, under the name of "coprolite-beds," as sources of artificial manures.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 7" by Various
It is doubtless of animal origin, and partly coprolitic, probably derived from the excrement of fish.
"A Manual of Elementary Geology" by Charles Lyell
In any case it certainly fed upon aquatic tortoises, for their remains have been found in its coprolites.
"The Cambridge Natural History, Vol X., Mammalia" by Frank Evers Beddard
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In news:

Baltic Birch and Coprolite Stone.
Dennis Jenkins, an archaeologist at the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History, holds a human coprolite (dried feces ) taken from Oregon's Paisley Caves.
Dennis Jenkins, an archaeologist at the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History, holds a human coprolite (dried feces) taken from Oregon's Paisley Caves.
Getting really down and dirty, what do anthropologists learn about ancient peoples from coprolites?–Divine.
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