If you ever saw the movie Jurassic Park as a child, there was a little part of you that wanted to be a paleontologist. Exploring the vast continents in search of ancient dinosaur bones, discovering mysteries of the past, and being rewarded for it. As it turns out, the job isn’t that glamorous. For example, scientists found a prehistoric shark tooth in an ancient crocodile’s poop recently and that’s the most interesting discovery in quite some time.
The approximately 20-million-year-old fossil was found in South Carolina and researchers are studying it day and night. The fossil is a coprolite, which is a fancy science word for fossilized poop. What’s interesting about this poop is it contains a snapped off shark’s tooth and teeth marks.
Scuba diver Mark Stitzer found the poop fossil and pretty much immediately knew what he had found was special. This wasn’t just any poop, this was historic poop. Turns out he was right.
The poop will be on display at the Florida Museum of Natural History which apparently has a whole exhibit dedicated to ancient turds and the mysteries found within.
George Fransden, a poop fossil specialist, had this to say about the shark tooth/croc poop fossil that was found, “The unique hallmarks of this coprolite illustrate that a crocodilian pooped 33 to 22 million years ago, and that a Carcharocles angustidens shark took a bite out of that poop, but did not digest it.”
Fransden’s museum of poop fossils is aptly titled, The Poozeum, and he studies the fossils with a fiery passion that we just could never understand.
So next time you’re thinking of flushing your turds down the drain, maybe send them to Mr. Fransden. It could be worth a look!