Dinosaur coprolite 48mm. This example of fossilised dung was discovered in the red beds of the tengana formation, Kem kem, in the region adjacent the Moroccan and Algerian border. An incredibly arid region which over the last two decades has produced the only partial Spinosaurus Aegyptiacus skeleton since German paleontologist Ernst Stromer brought back to Europe in 1912 the first ever discovered by Richard Markgraf, subsequently destroyed during allied bombing c.1944. The most favourable geological conditions for the preservation of coprolite is to be covered particularly quickly in an anoxic environment. Over time it is replaced by surrounding minerals, in this case siderite and limonite and permineralisation process's transform the dung into stone fossilised forever. Fossil remains such as plants, seeds, bark, teeth, claws and bones (dependent on the animal) can be discovered within the coprolite, which is a valuable indicator to the animals diet whether a herbivore or carnivore or what the animal dietary preferences were.
Coprolites helped scientists and researchers determine and understand diets of prehistoric animals, how their digestion worked. Also coprolite can be a great indicator to the seasonal changes that occurred millions of years ago once seeds and plant matter is microscopically analysed. Historically Mary Anning first noticed stone pebbles in ichthyosaurs abdomens, once broken open she discovered fish bones of prey, this led William Buckland to coin the name coprolite in 1829.