The size of coprolites are, most of the time, proportional to the size of the producer. This can be misleading, however, because not all animals produce feces proportional to their size. A modern example is the moose. It can weigh up to and greater than 500 kg, but only produces individual droppings around 3 cm in length.

This picture is credited to and copyright by
A.K. Division of Tourism

   The shapes of coprolites are quite variable as well. They can range from round, oval, cone, ellipsoidal and spiral shaped to cigar-shaped, lense shaped, and discoidal-shaped specimens.

   The size and shapes of coprolites are important because they can give us information on the intestinal tract of the producers. For example, in 1984, Dean found a spiral coprolite near a cladodont fish, which clearly showed the shape of the fish's intestinal tract. Twisted coprolites have also been found with the bones of an Ichthyosaur, showing that these ancient marine reptiles may have had a somewhat spiral intestinal tract, that would have shaped the excrement into a similar shape.

   When coprolites are identified, the most notable features are size, shape and external markings. For Example there are certain spiral coprolites of Paleozoic age that are believed to have been produced by early fish, such as agnathans or sharks.