• All Share : 50355.78
    DOWN -0.30%
    Top 40 : 3722.72
    DOWN -0.43%
    Financial 15 : 15554.33
    DOWN -0.33%
    Industrial 25 : 61748.57
    DOWN -0.40%

  • ZAR/USD : 10.9567
    UP 0.09%
    ZAR/GBP : 17.3005
    UP 0.54%
    ZAR/EUR : 13.7048
    UP 0.32%
    ZAR/JPY : 0.0931
    UP 0.16%
    ZAR/AUD : 9.3668
    DOWN -0.01%

  • Gold : 1198.1100
    DOWN -0.25%
    Platinum : 1228.5000
    UP 0.70%
    Silver : 16.5150
    DOWN -0.82%
    Palladium : 805.0000
    UP 2.16%
    Brent Crude Oil : 77.590
    DOWN -0.21%

  • All data is delayed by 15 min. Data supplied by I-Net Bridge
    Hover cursor over this ticker to pause.

Thu Nov 27 00:57:45 SAST 2014

What happened to dino poop? Cockroaches probably ate it: study

Times LIVE | 09 December, 2013 13:57
(A – head to leg end length: 3.8 mm) with antennal sensory system (B, C) and five preserved coprolites (D – optical, E – surface rendering of numbered coprolites and dense particles based on the image stack from synchrotron X-ray microtomography; F – ST orthoslice with labelled boundaries and fragments). Lebanon amber 1094A-I. Scales 0,5 mm.
Image by: Peter Vršanský mail, Thomas van de Kamp, Dany Azar, Alexander Prokin, L'ubomír Vidlička, Patrik Vagovič / Plos One

Dinosaurs likely left large amounts of excrement in their wake, leaving scientists wondering just what cleaned up after them.

A new study in the online journal Plos One proposes a candidate for this - cockroaches.

According to the study dung beetles and rapidly developing flies were rare during most of the Mesozoic, leaving a species of extinct cockroach (Blattulidae), which had a temporal range associated with herbivorous dinosaurs, as the best candidate for eating dinosaur their poop.

The researchers had a chance to test their hypothesis thanks to coprolite's extracted from an immature Lebanese cockroach that had been preserved in amber.

What they found after using synchrotron X-ray microtomography was that the coprolite's were 1.06% wood with smooth edges, suggesting that they had been pre-digested, which suggests that they were from those herbivorous dinosaurs.

You can read the full study on PloS One.


If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.