Dinosaur digestion

Further Reading

Weishampel, D. B., Dodson, P. and Osmólska, H. (eds.) 2004. The Dinosauria (Second Edition) University of California Press

Norman, D. 1985. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs. Salamander Books, London.

Martill, D. and Naish, D. 2001. Walking with Dinosaurs: The Evidence. BBC Worldwide Ltd.

Currie, P.J. and Padian, K. (editors). 1997. Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs. Academic Press.

Fastovsky, D. E. and Weishampel, D. B. 2009. The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs. Cambridge University Press.
Paul, G. S. (editor). 2000. The Scientific American Book of Dinosaurs. St Martin’s Press.

Comments (5)

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Rob Talbot 27 October, 2010 07:02
The description of the dinosaur dung is very familiar. I come from north Queensland and have long speculated that what is known locally as 'moon rocks', is actually the dung of dinosaurs. These rocks are found in north-west Queensland where the remains of muttaburrasaurus and other dinosaur species have been discovered and displayed as tourist attractions. The rocks contain what looks like the impressions of vegetable material, ferns etc. If these can be confirmed as fossilised dinosaur dung, it will solve the mystery of the 'moon rocks', of which there are many thousands of examples at ground level in that part of western Queensland, from Muttaburra, to Hughenden, to Richmond and surrounding areas. This area was once a part of an inland sea, and one of the large dinosaur species that the remains of which have been found in that area was an aquatic type, similar to a plesiosaur.
Ros Colborn 8 August, 2014 18:33
I still don't understand why dinosaurs in general are considered to have been cold blooded. Surely the fermentation chambers containing bacteria, acids and enzymes are going to create some sort of heat, as in cattle for example?
Discovery Centre 19 August, 2014 11:27
Hi Ros - the debate about dinosaur thermoregulation isn't resolved.  Opinions on this vary amongst researchers; some think dinosaurs may have been 'cold-blooded' like modern reptiles. Others say dinosaurs may have been 'warm-blooded' like mammals or birds; certainly the physiology of some dinosaurs is close to that of birds. Some say dinosaurs were neither of the above but instead had unique metabolisms without a modern-day analogue that might've been intermediate between our understanding of 'hot-' and 'cold-blooded'. It is also possible that there may not have uniform thermoregulation strategies across the Dinosauria, and a combination of any of the above may have been the case. New discoveries will continue to shape future theories
Peter Matic 29 January, 2016 08:08
Late last year while holidaying in South Australia, I came across a small collection of unusual 'stones' on a local beach. The stones are not typical of the local beach/cliff environment, being well polished/smooth and looking in some instance as if they were subject to great heat and partially molten at some point. I have been looking for information on fossils, meteorites, tektites and most recently consider that they may possibly be 'gastroliths'. Can you please advise how I might best ascertain what the objects are and perhaps a little of their origin? Kind Regards, Peter Matic
Discovery Centre 29 January, 2016 11:33
Hi Peter - you can always make use of our free identification service if you like; generally for geological specimens we will need to see the material first-hand before we can comment, so it may need to be brought or sent to us. You can read a little about our identification services here.
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Image Gallery

Artist’s reconstruction of the Hadrosaur Edmontosaurus, an efficient herbivore with a duck bill, chewing teeth and muscular cheeks.