coprolite

noun
cop·​ro·​lite | \ˈkä-prə-ˌlīt \

Definition of coprolite 

: fossilized excrement

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Other Words from coprolite

coprolitic \ ˌkä-​prə-​ˈli-​tik \ adjective

Examples of coprolite in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The coprolites contained genetic material from mushrooms that are colorful—often an indicator of having evolved to attract the attention of grazing animals—and that rely on animals to eat them and disperse their spores. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "DNA from the poop of extinct four-meter-tall birds reveals lost ecosystem," 15 Feb. 2018 Among the hands-on exhibitions are rocky casts of coprolite, otherwise known as dino dung. Mark Washburn, charlotteobserver, "The Dinosaur King in the Queen City? Charlotte kids might not believe the size of this experience | Charlotte Observer," 25 May 2018 Educated interpretation Although the coprolites yielded lots of information on the ecosystems surrounding the moa, questions remain. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "DNA from the poop of extinct four-meter-tall birds reveals lost ecosystem," 15 Feb. 2018 The scientists even spotted at least one clump of what appears to be a coprolite, or fossilized feces. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, "Where NASA Put a Parking Lot, Dinosaurs and Mammals Once Crossed Paths," 31 Jan. 2018 Their study, published this week in the journal Scientific Reports, documents a new method to examine the treasures hidden within the coprolite without destroying the samples. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Researchers Use Particle Accelerator to Peek Inside Fossilized Poop," 9 June 2017 Scientists have also examined Neanderthal coprolites for clues to the complex diets of these human relatives. National Geographic, "Ice Age Hyenas Left Clues About These Ancient Human Sites," 26 June 2017 In one coprolite the researchers found the remains of three beetle species, including two wing cases and a part of a leg. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Researchers Use Particle Accelerator to Peek Inside Fossilized Poop," 9 June 2017 Some coastal travelers did eventually turn landward, as shown by early inland sites such as Oregon's Paisley Caves, which yielded a 14,200-year-old human coprolite. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Most archaeologists think the first Americans arrived by boat. Now, they’re beginning to prove it," 10 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coprolite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of coprolite

1829, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for coprolite

The first known use of coprolite was in 1829

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