Dinosaurs left tracks of pee as big as a bathtub


House train a Great Pyrenees.


“You don’t want to stand under a sauropod when they are doing their business.”

Well, unless you’re into that sort of thing.

But seriously: Did dinosaurs have separate pee and poo plumbing? Not a generic spatter-hole like birds do?


Great question! Here’s what the article says:

Like all birds, ostriches eliminate waste through their cloaca – the single orifice where reproductive and excretory tracts end. But while many birds combine their dark-colored solid waste with white, semi-solid uric acid into a single messy package, ostriches expel their fluid in an impressive stream before jettisoning their feces. This method, Fernandes and coauthors concluded, could explain the traces of “an abundant falling stream of fluid” they found among the dinosaur trackways.
While no one has described a fossil of a non-avian dinosaur’s cloaca just yet, we can be confident that dinosaurs had such an arrangement. Both living dinosaurs (birds) and the closest living relatives of all dinosaurs (crocodylians) have cloacae, and so it’s highly likely that non-avian dinosaurs shared this trait. The question is whether non-avian dinosaurs expelled their solid and semi-solid waste together, like many birds, or they urinated and defecated separately as ostriches and crocodylians can.
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Did you read the linked article? What I took from it was that non-avian dinosaurs very probably had a cloaca like all their closest living relatives, but may have been able (at least some of them) to urinate and defecate at separate times, as ostriches do. In internal plumbing seems to be mostly the same, with intestinal, reproductive, and urinary tracts.

TIL that Maggie has a 10x5 foot bathtub.

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That’s interesting. I would have guessed solids first, then flush with liquids. But I suppose the ostrichs’ fluids are used as lubricant. Who’d guessed?

Right up until today, never in my 68 years of life had I given even the slightest thought about dinosaur dribbles. My ignorance is shameful but somehow I’ll bear it. Sweet Jesus what other discoveries await me. So much to learn, so little time.


“Don’t Stand Behind the Sauropod” needs to be a folk song.

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Don’t Stand So Close to Me

New Grindcore band.


This has me wondering if any interesting ecology happened to spring up in the, er, wake of what sauropods left behind. It may have depended on how long the temporary ponds they created lasted, but I’d be really curious to see how they left their mark on the landscape.

This sounds like a job for Paul and Storm, if you ask me.

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