Tuesday, July 14, 2009
We have collected quite a lot of dinosaur books over the years. But none has been quite as, um... educational as the one I picked up at the library last week.
Warning: "Jurassic Poop: What Dinosaurs (and Others) Left Behind" by Jacob Berkowitz is not for parents with weak stomachs.
Nor is it for parents already grossed out by their children's excessive use of body humor. Then again, if your kids are already obsessed, they may as well improve their vocabulary and science knowledge, right?
Jurassic Poop is about everything you never wanted to know about fossil feces. If you can get through the proliferation of potty words without washing your own mouth out with soap, there's a lot to be learned from old dung!
A coprolite is the polite term for ancient poop that's turned to rock.
The largest coprolite ever found was two feet long, and probably dropped by a Daspletosaurus or Gorgosaurus, earlier relatives of T. Rex.
The science of how things fossilize is called taphonomy.
When you're finished reading, the kids will probably want to make their very own coprolites.
Here's the recipe:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup warm water
Knead for five minutes. Make poop shapes. Listen to your children say things like, "Look at my poop!" "This is one big piece of poop!" and "Hey, take a picture of my diarrhea!"
Dry overnight, if you like the idea of dinosaur dung sitting on the shelf with your child's other creations.
Enjoy their smiles. :)