The Bookworm is
Terri Schlichenmeyer.
Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and she never goes anywhere without a book.  She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books, a more books are on the way.

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“Dino Poop”
by Jane Hammerslough

c.2006, Scholastic                    
$9.99 / $11.99 CAN               
96 pages

reviewed by  Terri Schlichenmeyer

Every time you walk your dog in the park or in town, you know you have to clean up after the things your doggie-doo.  Yeah, it’s disgusting but eeeeuuuuwww, nobody wants to step in that.  Yuck.

Aren’t you glad you don’t have a pet Diplodocus at the end of the leash?  He would be as tall as a four-story building and he’d weigh more than your family’s vehicle.   Imagine the pooper-scooper you’d need to clean up after him.

Double yuck.

Well, did you know that you might’ve stepped in dinosaur poop yesterday?  There might even be some in your back yard.  Seriously.  Find out more in “Dino Poop” by Jane Hammerslough.

Millions of years ago, when dinosaurs walked across your street and into your neighbor’s garden, they left behind lots of dung. 

They couldn’t help it.  Toilets hadn’t been invented yet.

When the poop fell on the ground, sediment fell on top of it which protected the poop from bacteria.  Over the years, the sediment became rock-hard.  In the meantime, minerals from water in the
ground replaced the bits of organic material in the poop, preserving
the poop  in the form of a fossil, or coprolite.

So what do coprolites look like?  Well, they look just like rocks, only not as big as you’d think they’d be.  Paleoscatologists (the guys who study dinosaur poop) have discovered coprolites less than 10 cm long, and they’ve found monster poop bigger than a football.  That, they
say, probably came from a T-Rex.

So how can you find your own dinosaur poop?  It’s not going to be easy.  Jane Hammerslough says that dinosaurs left lots of poo on the ground, but not much of it lasted to this day.  That shouldn’t stop you from looking for other cool fossils, though.  In recent years, scientists have found ancient tree spit and fossilized vomit,  huge  wooly mammoths preserved in gi-normous frozen ice cubes,  and real
Ice Age animal bones buried beneath the ground.  And if you can’t
wait to find your own coprolite, why not just make one?


Have you got a budding scientist on your hands?  Then “Dino Poop”
is going to be a very popular gift this year.  The book is well-illustrated with color drawings and maps that are very easy to understand. 
Author Jane Hammerslough includes lots of gee-I-didn’t-know-that facts and fun things kids will love to share.  In the back of the book, there are simple projects that kids can do with the help of a not-easily-disgusted grown-up.   There’s a handy glossary so everybody can learn to talk the talk.  Best of all, not only does this book come in a waterproof (therefore, wipe-able) cover, but it comes with a real, genuine honest-to-goodness coprolite chip on a keychain that your child can attach to a backpack. 

“Dino Poop” is meant for kids age 7-and-up, but I think a savvy, dinosaur-crazy 5-year-old would get a kick out of this book.  Pick up
a copy and have some fun.

And – eeuuuwww - go wash your hands.

More Fossil Poop Info



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