Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/2/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Each fecal specimen is a 'time capsule' to dinosaur era

There was a classic illustrated children's book entitled "Everyone Poops." This definitely was true of the dinosaurs, as a gigantic "communal latrine" created at the dawn of the dinosaurs has been discovered in Argentina.

Many of the feces were sausage-like, while others were pristine ovals. Colors ranged from whitish gray to dark brown-violet.

Many of the feces were sausage-like, while others were pristine ovals. Colors ranged from whitish gray to dark brown-violet.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/2/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Dinosaurs, feces, Argentina


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Thousands of fossilized fecal material - which will hereon be referred to as "poos" left by rhino-like mega herbivores were found clustered together. Scientists say that the 240-million-year-old site is the "world's oldest public toilet" and the first evidence that ancient reptiles shared collective - ahem, "dumping" grounds.

Each poo is a time capsule to the dawn of the dinosaurs.

Each poo is a time capsule to the dawn of the dinosaurs.


The surviving material gives clues to the prehistoric diet, disease and vegetation. Today, elephants, antelopes and horses are all animals who defecate in socially agreed hotspots, in order to mark territory and reduce the spread of parasites. The recent discovery breaks the previous record of "oldest toilet" by 220 million years.
 
Fossil "coprolites" as wide as 40 centimeters, weighing several kilograms were found in seven massive patches across the Chanares Formation in La Rioja province. Many of the feces were sausage-like, while others were pristine ovals. Colors ranged from whitish gray to dark brown-violet.

The culprits were dicynodonts - ancient megaherbivores.

The culprits were dicynodonts - ancient megaherbivores.


"There is no doubt who the culprit was," Dr Lucas Fiorelli, of Crilar-Conicet, who discovered the dung heaps declares. "Only one species could produce such big lumps - and we found their bones littered everywhere at the site."

The defecators were the Dinodontosaurus, an eight-foot-long megaherbivore similar to modern rhinos. Dicynodonts, which are large, mammal-like reptiles, the Dinodontosaurus was common in the Triassic period when the first dinosaurs began to emerge.

The fact these creatures shared a lavatory suggests they were gregarious, herd animals, who had good reasons to poo strategically, Dr. Fiorelli says.

"Firstly, it was important to avoid parasites - 'you don't poo where you eat', as the saying goes.

"But it's also a warning to predators. If you leave a huge pile, you are saying: 'Hey! We are a big herd. Watch out!"

The common predator at this time was the formidable Luperosuchus, a crocodile-like carnivore. The dung patches, however, were equally intimidating.

A museum of poos has been created by the researchers.

A museum of poos has been created by the researchers.


A density of 94 "poos" per square meter was recorded by the researchers. And the excrement was spread across patches 900 square meters in size.

Prehistoric coprolites are nothing new, but it is extremely rare to find an accumulation as old and substantial as this one, as feces degrade easily. A sheet of volcanic ash has preserved the ancient dung piles "like Pompeii", Dr. Fiorelli says.

The world

The world's oldest toilet - an artist's impression.


Like tiny time capsules, "When cracked open they reveal fragments of extinct plants, fungi, and gut parasites," Martin Hechenleitner, a fellow author on the study says.

"Each poo is a snapshot of an ancient ecosystem - the vegetation and the food chain.

"This was a crucial time in evolutionary history. The first mammals were there, living alongside the grandfather of dinosaurs.

"Maybe with these fossils we can glimpse into the lost environment which gave rise to the dinosaurs."

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Green

San Francisco hit with a stinkier side of the California drought as sewer pipes deteriorate Watch

Image of [Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo]

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The severe drought in California has recently alarmed residents of San Francisco, as its century-old sewer system takes a serious hit. Contrary to the popular belief that the drought might give the sewers a break, as it is expected to facilitate less water, it ... continue reading


Mysterious fireball of space junk flies over the South Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A mysterious object lit up in the sky on June 29 in the southeast. The source has since been confirmed as a space junk passing by and reentering our atmosphere. Sightings of the "fireball" were taken to social media, where people tried to guess whether it was a ... continue reading


Californians struggle to find 'normal life' without water Watch

Image of The lack of a sufficient water source in parts of California damages agricultural farmlands

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A normal life remains to be far-fetched for residents in the town of Monson, CA, located 200 miles from the northern part of Los Angeles. Residents in the area have already spent four gruesome months without running water in their homes. The four years of drought ... continue reading


NEW FURRY CRITTER: Hairy-chested crab found trolling at over 7000 feet deep in Antarctic hydrothermal vents identified Watch

Image of The Kiwa tyleri must spend its days in observance of these delicate laws of nature. If they get too close to the vent they will be scalded, but if they stray too far they freeze.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Kiwa tyleri is a furry breed of crab that is only found in the hydrothermal vents in Antarctica. The species can only thrive in water that is between 945 and 104 degrees in Antarctica - making it rare indeed. Growing to only two inches in length, the Kiwa ... continue reading


What ALL Americans need to know about the California drought Watch

Image of California grows and exports a majority of the fruits and nuts eaten by the rest of the country, so water shortages there affect food supply everywhere.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The water shortage in California, now dragging into its fourth year is being categorized as "extreme to exceptional drought." Everyone, including all western U.S. states is now expected to conserve - and not just in California. Below are the facts that everyone in the ... continue reading


Scientists discover amazing corals that adapt to climate change Watch

Image of The Coral Reef Southern Red Sea near Safaga Egypt.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists have cross-bred corals coming from different latitude with variety of temperatures underwater and found that there are some corals that adapt better in climate change than others. With the rapid decline of coral reefs, experts are hoping that this new ... continue reading


Life on Mars: Are humans one step closer to living on Mars? Watch

Image of Is this the future home for humans?

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With the pressing idea that humans have to find suitable life outside Earth in mind, many projects and experiments are being conducted to find a livable environment on Mars. The planet is not yet suitable to live on but a new project suggests that they may have the ... continue reading


Scientists literally could not make heads or tails of bizarre organism of Cambrian age Watch

Image of Researchers have since learned after using sophisticated imaging techniques that at the end the Hallucigenia's head long and slender neck resembling a hose-like tube.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A spiny little organism rightfully called the Hallucigenia sparsa - so hallucinogenic was it in appearance, had scientists scratching their heads, literally unable to make heads or tails of it. Living in the Cambrian age of 508 million years ago, the ... continue reading


Running late? No worries, we get an extra second this month - Find out why Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Earth runs in an inconsistent speed, so to synch it up with the atomic clock, June 30, 2015 will be longer by a second. This extra second, added after midnight, is called a leap second. This is not the first time extra time has been added in order for several ... continue reading


Will lions soon face extinction? A shocking 23,000 animal species now nearing extinction Watch

Image of Lions are just one of the 23,000 species facing extinction. Others include the New Zealand Sea Lion.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The king of the jungle, the mighty lion, the African Golden Cat, the New Zealand Sea Lion and two crab species, namely Karstama balicum and Karstama emdi, are just a few out of nearly 23,000 species now facing extinction, according to the International Union for the ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 21:5, 8-20
5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 34:7-8, 10-11, 12-13
7 The angel of Yahweh encamps around those who fear ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:28-34
28 When he reached the territory of the Gadarenes on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 1st, 2015 Image

Bl. Junipero Serra
July 1: Miguel Jose Serra was born on the island of Majorca on November ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter