When scientists around the world think of dung, they think of Jim Mead.
Mead, a researcher at Northern Arizona University, is one of the world's foremost authorities on animal dung, and he's got the poop to prove it.
"You have got to laugh at this bizarre resource," says Mead, director of NAU's Laboratory of Quaternary Paleontology. "Although I don't think anyone is keeping track, I suspect we have the largest comparative animal dung collection in the world. If someone needs to identify dung, they send it to me."
The lab, part of the university's Center for Environmental Sciences and Education, has row after row of cabinets with thousands of dung pieces used by scientists to get accurate data on an array of topics, including the environmental changes that took place on the Colorado Plateau during the last 100,000 years.
|©Northern Arizona University
|Jim Mead cradles a box of 23,000-year-old archived bison dung that came from a cave in southern Utah. Mead, director of NAU's Laboratory of Quaternary Paleontology, is an expert on researching dung for clues about ancient life.