$960 for dinosaur poop? Fossil auction brings in a buttload of money


A corny tale of poop and profit...

On Wednesday, Bonhams New York, one of the world's premiere auction houses, held a major sale of fossils. The items on the block included the tusk of a 30,000 year old wooly mammoth, the skull of a 50,000 year old giant beaver, and the skeleton of a Russian cave bear. Perhaps the most interesting item, however, was a piece of coprolite, or fossilized dinosaur dung.

Originally expected to fetch $350 to $450, the three pound piece of antidiluvian feces ended up going for $960. The purchaser was Dr. Steve Tsengas of Fairport Harbor, Ohio. The owner of Our Pet's [sic], an animal nutrition company, Tsengas bought the coprolite as a tool for motivating his employees, impressing delegates at trade shows, and generally demonstrating the importance of poop.

If you've ever found yourself trying to explain to a parent, sibling, or spouse the reason that you're holding on to some totally useless piece of junk, you might want to remember this story. If you hold onto something long enough, it's bound to go up in value. Then again, in the case of dung, "long enough" translates to approximately 130 million years!

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. He is still holding on to his comic books from the early 1990's. Sooner or later, they're going to be worth something...

Originally published