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And now for your breakfast enjoyment... preserved muscle tissue in tyrant turds!


Just out in the latest issue of Palaios:
Chin, K., D.A. Eberth, M.H. Scweitzer, T.A. Rando, W.J. Sloboda, and J.R.
Horner.  2003.  Remarkable Preservation of Undigested Muscle Tissue Within a
Late Cretaceous Tyrannosaurid Coprolite from Alberta, Canada. Palaios 18:

The specimen in question is from the Lethbridge Coal Zone at the top of the
Dinosaur Park Fm. in Alberta.  It's 64 cm long and 17 cm wide.  Within the
mass are bits of three-dimensionally preserved soft tissue that appears to
be muscle (both from microscopic morphology and chemical analysis).  The
bone fragment associated with it has characteristics of pachycephalosaur
skull domes (conspicuous acellular areas, distinctive branching canaliculi,
and numerous Sharpey?s fibers), so that might have been the critter that was

The evidence here is consistent with the Frenchman Fm. tyrant turd and Two
Medicine Fm. Daspletosaurus gut contents on supporting a rapid transit time
for food through the belly of the beasts (unlike crocs and snakes, for

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796