Dino Dung: The Scoop on Fossil Feces

Dino Dung: The Scoop on Fossil Feces

by Karen Chin, Karen Carr
     
 

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World-famous “Dung Detective” Dr. Karen Chin explains how coprolites (a.k.a. fossil feces) tell stories that bones cannot tell themselves—like which plants and animals lived together in the ancient past. And who was eating whom. And how waste isn’t bad, but is, in fact, a very important part of the process of living! This is Step 5

Overview

World-famous “Dung Detective” Dr. Karen Chin explains how coprolites (a.k.a. fossil feces) tell stories that bones cannot tell themselves—like which plants and animals lived together in the ancient past. And who was eating whom. And how waste isn’t bad, but is, in fact, a very important part of the process of living! This is Step 5 nonfiction at its most fascinating!
From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Natural History Magazine

IN THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS the Step Into Reading imprint has released a number of children's books about specific subtopics in dinosaur studies, written by subject experts. Previous works include the paleontologist Robert T. Bakker's Maximum Triceratops, and my own T. rex: Hunter or Scavenger? The most recent of them, and a splendid point of entry for the ten-year-old in all of us, is Dino Dung, an up-to-date book on dinosaur paleontology.

Karen Chin, a paleontologist and the co-author of this newest member of the series, is the leading expert on dinosaur coprolites, or fossilized feces. Karen Carr, the illustrator, is one of the more subdued paleoartists working today. Unlike the images of artists such as Luis V. Rey and Michael W. Skrepnick, Carr's dinosaurs don't seem to be hurrying off somewhere; they're just causally going about the business of contributing to the fossil-fecal record.

Chin and Thom Holmes, a science writer, also tell the tale of how coprolite studies began: how, in the early 1800s, the English vicar and paleontologist William Buckland discovered fossilized hyena dung in Britain, then carried out comparative analyses of fresh droppings from zoo-kept hyenas. Chin and Holmes go on to tell us how feces can be preserved, and what kinds of information can be retrieved from these often-overlooked, and generally underappreciated, leftovers of the ancient world. Chin's presentations at technical conferences are notorious for including at least one bad pun, and she doesn't disappoint her fans here: one chapter is titled, "The Scat with Nine Lives."


May 2005 issue
Children's Literature
This little book exposes the basic fiber of prehistoric animals. Karen Chin writes with humor, candor, some puns, and an engaging style about one of the most basic acts of life. In scientific terms, reduced to simple vocabulary, Dr. Chin explains the fossilization of coprolites and their role in the ecosystem. Pronunciation guides are built right into the text so that early readers do not have to stumble over six-syllable terms. Young paleontologists will be intrigued by all of the scientific matter that can be discovered from the study of prehistoric excrement. No doubt, the topic will be intriguing to beginning readers. This chapter book is at Step 5 in the "Step into Reading" series. It carries the seal of approval from the Jurassic Park Institute. 2005, Random House, Ages 7 to 10.
—Janice DeLong

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375927027
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
03/22/2005
Series:
Step into Reading Book Series: A Step 5 Book
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.38(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Dr. Karen Chin, curator of paleontology at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, is considered the world’s foremost expert on the fecal remains of dinosaurs. She lives in Boulder, CO.
Co-author Thom Holmes is a natural history author specializing in books about prehistoric life. He is co-author of Enslow’s acclaimed series, Dinosaur Lives. He lives in Jersey City, NJ.
Karen Karr is a natural history artist who has worked for some of the most prominent research organizations and scientific publications in the world. She lives in Silver City, NM.
From the Trade Paperback edition.

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