Wednesday, 27 September 2017

'Vegetarian' Dinos Made Exception for Shellfish, Poop Study Shows

By Laura Geggel, Senior Writer | September 21, 2017 09:26am ET

Certain giant, herbivorous dinosaurs didn't eat just plants — they also chowed down on rotten logs harboring shellfish, a new study finds.

Researchers made this startling dietary discovery after examining 10 different specimens of fossilized dinosaur dung, known as coprolites, from the Kaiparowits Formation of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah.

"If we had found just one coprolite with crustacean pieces in it, that would have been interesting," said study lead researcher Karen Chin, an associate professor and a curator of paleontology at the University of Colorado Boulder. "But the fact that we found coprolites that spread out over at least 20 kilometers [12 miles] at different stratigraphic levels — that really strengthens our evidence for this being a behavior that these dinosaurs engaged in."

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