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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Coprolite Happened: Poo, Poop, Do, Dung, Scat; Do-Diddly-Be-Bop-Scat

        Coprolite happened! Not happens. Ah, but we quibble.





     Fossil excrement is a thing of the past. Coprolite, meaning dung stone, did indeed happen all over the world. And not just dinosaur scat although dinosaur poo gets the most notoriety.



        Most coprolites are primarily composed of calcium phosphate with minor quantities of organic matter. Dung beetles did enjoy their dinosaur dung. These trace fossils were a big hit with kindergartners at Dinosaur Ridge Tuesday. They uncovered an herbivore dinosaur skeleton, as well as the carnivore dinosaur tooth in her spine, her nest, and, of course, the coprolite.



        There are coprolite cabochons or cabs:



          And there's Cab Calloway, an early jazz scat singer:




           Jazz scat is a humorous, non-word way of singing, wonderfully sung by Cab, Ella Fitzgerald, and many others.

            Dinosaur scat is a humorous trace fossil. Right?

            Scat. Scat. Cab. Cab. A coincidence? I think not. . .What do you think?

          And, finally, a coprolite controversy: Is this a coprolite or Faux Poo?


                           The END.

Scat-o-logically,
Steph

P.S. I am bracing myself for Close Encounters of the Turd Kind and other poo puns. Pun on if you are feeling fair to midden. . .

                    The BEGINNING

     Zoe's Peace Corps Swearing-in Ceremony on Friday in Ethiopia:



"We use what we have, where we are, while we can."

40 comments:

  1. What does it say about our society that we have so many more words for that than Eskimos have for snow?

    I like the nice, compact fex, the singular form of feces. (Add an a-before-e if you're British.)

    It's a source of deep disappointment that I can't find on the net a copy of Sidney Harris's cartoon that includes a ball of the stuff, on which is a bug, followed by a tiny dot, and a yet tinier dot, ad infinitum, labelled "dung", "dung beetle", "dung beetle dung", "dung beetle dung beetle", etc.

    In case this discussion leaves you in bad odor, consider bismuth subgallate (a cousin of bismuth subsalicylate, the active ingredient in Pepto-Bismon). As Devrom, it's marketed as an internal deodorant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ... Pepto-Bismol, of course.

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    2. jan,
      Thanks for "fex." Learned a new word. "I used to ship all my parcels via FedEx, but now that my go-to guy, Ed, has retired, their service is crappy!"

      Regarding the faux-poo (faux-fex?):
      "Billed in the auction house catalog as fossil feces measuring "an eye-watering 40 inches in length..." I am soooo glad the descriptor used is "eye-watering" and not "mouth-watering"!

      "The item in a sale held by I. M. Chait in Beverly Hills, California, came from the Wilkes Formation in southwestern Washington State...."

      Two things:
      1. skydiveboy must be so proud!
      2. "I.M. Chait"? What happened to I.M. Poo, who creates architectural wonders using coprolite exclusively?

      LegoYouSayPeitato,ISayPootato,Let'sCallTheWholeThingJust"Spud"InYourEye

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    3. If that thing between the kindergartners and Mr. Calloway is a turd, it's the prettiest tird I've ever seen ... and I've seen my share of terds.

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    4. Paul, it is, indeed, polished fossil dino poo.

      Lego, eye-watering is pretty apt, no? See "internal deodorant."

      Yes, jan, I am also having a happy fix over learning about fex. Thanks from the bottom of. . .well, you know.

      Delete
  2. Just came from a math tutors' intoductory meeting at a DPS high school where I met another Smithie who also took her junior year off at the U of AZ _AND_ was in the Peace Corps in Africa where she met her husband.

    The most interesting piece was the math department chair telling us that successful completion of Algebra 1 is the best predictor of successful college entrance and success.

    It's going to be a fun year. We include a veterinarian, a chemist, a CPA, and a math teacher.

    Wish you all could join us!

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  3. Number of words for poo: 195.

    Number of Inuit words for snow is a little more complicated. . .and somewhat over-inflated according to Laura Martin.

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  4. Replies
    1. Field trip!

      That was wonderful.

      Still miss Pluto.

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    2. We've been through this. The IAU says that Pluto has to learn to clear its neighborhood.

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    3. (In keeping with this week's topic.)

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    4. "Clear its neighborhood?" Make that "196 ways to Leave Your Cacation. . ."

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  5. What a remarkable coincidence! The 25th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony was yesterday, in Cambridge. And how to they limit the winners' acceptance speeches to the allotted time? Meet Miss Sweetie Poo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Please stop. I'm bored!" How wonderfully effective.

      Delete
    2. But "HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME" is more poetic.

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    3. "HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME" appears repeatedly in T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land.

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    4. I thought you were cross-blogginating, jan!

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    5. It was too searchable a hint for Blaine's blog, but seemed apropos here.

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    6. I agree, jan. Thanks for your discretion. . .and your hint here. I enjoyed it.

      Delete
  6. The BEGINNING (see new image from Friday at end of this week's post).

    "We use what we have, where we are, while we can."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like a good oath for anyone [although I'm not sure I'd use a bee to sting my you-know-what no matter what].

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. I haven't had time to listen to the whole broadcast or read the paper in detail, but just glancing at the nap leads to one stupid question: why is the neutrino flux so uniformly low in the crust underlying the oceans?

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    2. ... glancing at the map....

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    3. Oceanic crust tends to be much thinner, denser, and younger than continental crust. It is also richer in magnesium and iron. I am thinking there is a correlation between one or more of those factors and the neutrino flux.

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  8. As far as I know, Petoskey isn't another euphemism for poop, so we may be going off-topic here, but...

    My attention was drawn to this article about a guy who found a 93-pound Petoskey stone in Michigan. Never heard of such a thing, but a 93-pound rock doesn't sound all that impressive, unless it's a precious gem, which this doesn't seem to be.

    So, my first question is, what's the big deal with these coral fossils? But I'm more curious about why they're only found in Michigan?

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    Replies
    1. The Devonian corals were rounded and polished much later by glaciers in Michigan. There are certainly coral elsewhere, not called Petoskey stones, but they don't tend to have the later polishing/rounding of glacial action.

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  9. Sorry I'm so late to the fun here. I have written this on some blog somewhere before but to repeat myself anyway:
    It is a little known fact that Charles Darwin's first book was a memoir On the Origin of Feces. It was about his work as an animal control officer in a town where just about everyone owned a beagle and his chief job was to figure out which owners didn't properly scoop the poop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mean this book and this book are just knockoffs? Crap, I want my money back!

      Delete
  10. New post on "Carbonatite: "Sandcastle" Structures in Calcium Carbonate-Rich Tanzanian Volcano'" is up.

    ReplyDelete