Did Dinosaurs Poop?

Opening May 20, 2017

Take a digestion journey! Travel as dinosaur “food” from tooth to tush and discover how poop can become a fossil.

And, take on the role of paleontologist to uncover fossils at a “dig site,” examine them, and figure out where - and when! - they came from. This exhibit offers bright graphics, hands-on interactives, touchable fossil casts, and purposeful play.

Exhibit Components

Weaving the Food Web

Explore the connections between modern animals, like predator-prey relationships and various food webs.

Chain of Food

Discover three prehistoric food webs at this hands-on interactive. See the big picture by following the path between different carnivores, the animals they ate, and the plants those creatures ate.

From Tooth to Tush

This large mural illustrates how dinosaurs’ digestive systems differ between theropods, sauropods,and ornithischians. See the step-by-step process of how each part of the digestive system aids in processing food and getting energy!

Down in the Mouth

This area explains in more detail how animals, like dinosaurs, use their mouth to begin the digestion process. Learn how animal teeth and mouths evolve, and why different animals have different teeth.

Tooth Tales

Touch a variety of fossil teeth to determine whose teeth they might have been and what each animal ate.

Digestion Connection

Learn about the stomach and intestinal parts of various dinosaurs’ digestive systems and how scientists combine information from fossils and from dinosaurs’ living descendants.

Rock & Roll

Help a sauropod stomach break down an herbivore dinner with a surprising dinosaur dessert: rocks! These four-legged dinosaurs would swallow stones (called gastroliths) to help break down food such as plants and leaves.

Digestive Journey

Get ready to become a dino dinner and experience digestion as a leaf! Disguise yourself in a leaf costume, climb into the dinosaur’s “mouth,” go through its internal organs, and slide down its tail.

Buried Treasure

Finally, our question is answered – yes, dinosaurs pooped! This large mural describes how they did, and how we know.

Feces to Fossil

How exactly does poop fossilize? Even though hard remains, like bones or teeth, are more common, discover how soft parts, like poop, are preserved.

You’re the Paleontologist!

So how do we know all this? Learn the role of the paleontologist – how they work and what they do!

Dig In

Discover what kinds of tools paleontologists use in the field.  Put on goggles, grab a brush, and uncover fossil casts in this rubber dirt-filled dig site!

Back in the Lab

Paleontology is more than digging in the ground! See what happens to a fossil after it is removed from the earth, and how it is cleaned for study.

Piecing the Puzzle

Put on a lab coat and use a variety of tools to discover more about life on Earth from a sampling of coprolites. These include calipers, a magnifying glass, and an x-ray.

This exhibition is a traveling exhibition of the Paleontological Research Institution.

This exhibit is presented locally by: