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Duffin, 2012

Coprolites and characters in Victorian Britain

Duffin, C.
BookVertebrate Coprolites
JournalNew Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Bulletin
Typearticle in book


Mary Anning may have stimulated William Buckland’s thoughts about coprolites as early as 1824. The Lower Jurassic succession of the Dorset Coast proved to be something of a focus for collecting coprolites. Mary Anning and the Philpot sisters of Lyme Regis collected there, as did William Buckland, who also purchased specimens from local and metropolitan dealers. Following Buckland’s description of coprolites in 1829 and 1835, a number of colleagues repeated his experiments on filling the intestines of modern sharks with Roman cement in order to produce spiral coprolite analogues. Buckland’s students, Sir Philip de Malpas Grey Egerton and Lord Enniskillen, collected from the Lyme Regis coast, as did Buckland’s Oxford colleague, Charles Daubeny. Daubeny also saved some of Buckland’s original material for Oxford at the sale of his collection in 1857. The largest collection of Lyme Regis coprolites was made by Thomas Hawkins. Later Victorian coprolite collectors included Toulmin Smith and Samuel Beckles.

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