coprolite shark fossilized dung fossil

Coprolite mining – instant fossilization evidence?

Coprolite mining was a 19th century industry in England – involving the digging up of coprolites (fossilized dung), phosphate nodules and some septarian nodules for their phosphate to use on farms as fertiliser.

One of the interesting things about Coprolite mining is the fact that you can have fossilised dung.

Do Coprolites show rapid or instant fossilization instead of a long slow process?

coprolite mining map fossilised dung
Coprolite mining in England – main coprolite areas

Instant fossilization evidence? Internal coprolites

The Ichthyosaur was a large reptile that swam in our seas, not a fish.

Some were even found inside the pelvic regions of fossil ichthyosaurs, fossilized before evacuation!
A Vanished Industry: Coprolite Mining

Marine Coprolites?

Shark coprolite[/caption]How would animal dung including mainly marine animals for the main Coprolite mining beds in England, survive much time in water or the sea, let alone survive long enough for the very slow process of fossilization according to science?

Although a main part of them may appear to be hardened and not soft poo, they are still contained in a matrix of feces. How has that feces held together and not dissolved?

Coprolites are quite rare because they tend to decay rapidly, but when they are found, they are most commonly found among sea organisms. Coprolites of fish and reptiles are especially common. Typically nodular or contorted in appearance, coprolites are composed of pulverized indigestible remnants of the organism’s food, such as portions of scales, bones, teeth or shells, hence, they are very phosphatic in composition as well. These pulverized remains of food, otherwise known as “dung-stone,” are preserved by process of petrification or cast and mold.
Window to the past Coprolites & Gastroliths

coprolite shark fossilized dung fossil

Sharks have a distinctive character of spiral valves in their intestines, so that coprolites of sharks show grooves made by those spiral valves.
Window to the past Coprolites & Gastroliths

Coprolite mining and geology

Why were the coprolites or phosphatic nodules found in those areas? Especially in the Suffolk Red Crag layer and outcrops like Sutton Knoll, Suffolk, England.