About the Author

Did you know coprolite from the Hell Creek Formation will stick to your tongue if you lick it? Paleontologists sometimes use this test in the field to determine if they have found a real piece of prehistoric poo. Just remember, it's always a good idea to make sure the poop is truly fossilized before preforming this test!

Most of my adult life, I worked as an engineering technician where I focused on technical writing. Other than penning the occasional sappy poem to cheer up a sick co-worker or family member, I pretty much stuck to writing instructional manuals, technical reports, and construction specifications.

Writing a children’s book was always on my bucket list. The problem was, I could never find just the right topic. Then it happened...I discovered coprolite! At first I thought to myself, “Self, what a great gift for kids!” After all, what child wouldn't be fascinated by fossilized dinosaur droppings? Once nieces, nephews, and neighbor children had their very own samples, I began building my own collection.

Initially, I started collecting pareidolia specimens. What’s pareidolia? Have you ever seen animals or shapes in the clouds...or perhaps ink blots during a psychological evaluation? The phenomenon of seeing recognizable images in toast, a corn flake, or something fun like a coprolite is known as pareidolia (par-a-DOH-lee-a). I have fossil poo that contain images of things like a butterfly, a turtle head, a one-eyed cat, and a puppy. When my youngest daughter, Whitney, graduated from college, I was lucky enough to happen upon a piece of fossilized turtle tootle in the shape of a “W.” The expression on her face when she opened her gift was simply priceless!

As my interest matured, so to speak, I began acquiring more serious specimens. I also started participating as a U.S. Forest Service volunteer on dinosaur digs. Turns out, I’m pretty good at finding it...coprolite that is. I began to seriously study coprolites in order to serve as an expert on “doody” at the dig sites.

I wanted to be able to share my ever-growing coprolite collection with kids. Coprolite: A Really Crappy Story, evolved while I was putting together educational material in order to give presentations to school groups. My own children always learned best through humor; I hope yours will too!

Lori Gesch