Replica of rare Sask. dino poo headed to Smithsonian
Saskatchewan is sending a replica of its prized dinosaur poo to the Smithsonian Institution.
A fossilized chunk of Tyrannosaurus rex feces, known as a coprolite, belongs to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.
Soon, a copy of the rare fossil will be going to a new exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
According to the RSM, the T. rex coprolite was "deposited" over 65 million years ago in what is now southwest Saskatchewan. The original fossil will remain in Eastend.
Scientists say much can be learned about dinosaurs by examining their droppings. This particular coprolite contains bone fragments, confirming that the T. rex was indeed a meat eater.
Furthermore, the bone chips are shattered and still angular, not worn down by stomach acid, suggesting that the meat didn't spend much time in the dinosaur's stomach.
Did T. rex make meal of triceratops?
But what did the T. rex eat that day?
Scientists say they're not 100 per cent sure, but analysis indicates the animal consumed was a juvenile, likely a duck-billed dinosaur or possibly a horned dino, such as a triceratops.
The replica fossil, roughly the size and shape of a foot-long submarine sandwich, will be part of the Smithsonian's "Putting Dinosaurs in Their Place" exhibit that opens in 2014.