BRADENTON (FOX 13) - It's being billed as the world's largest collection of fossilized poop. And who are we to turn our noses up at that?
This unique collection -- which includes a fossilized poo specimen nicknamed 'Precious' believed to have been left behind by a crocodilian species -- will be unveiled at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton tomorrow, which happens to be National Fossil Day.
The exhibit includes 1,277 individual pieces of fossilized poop -- or coprolites -- from 15 states in the U.S. and eight countries, making it the "world's largest collection of fossilized dung."
And if you think that something stinks about that claim, know this: It's been verified by Guinness World Records.
"People have a morbid fascination with this," offered Jeff Rodgers, the museum's director of education. "They cannot walk in with a smile on their face and say I cannot believe I am going to see fossilized poop. Just having that smile on their face makes them more open to learning about it. It makes learning fun."
There's a lot of value in studying fossilized feces, Rodgers, insisted.
"You can learn what was eating what. You can learn what types and plants of animals were in a particular location millions and millions of years ago. That information is usually hard to get. You have to collect a lot of things. What is nice about these, they concentrate that information into one small package for paleontologists."
So while it may be a lot of 'number two,' organizers hope it will be number one with kids.
"You never know; that is half the fun," Rodgers added. "The right kid walks in and sees this stuff for the first time, it could start a lifelong love affair with fossils. You could have the next great paleontologists sparked by just seeing this poop collection."
MORE INFO: http://www.southfloridamuseum.org/