Navigation Links
Dinosaur fossil: Even specialized predators didn't turn down free meals
Date:3/6/2012

Scientists have discovered a bone from a pterosaur (giant flying reptile or 'pterodactyl') in the guts of the skeletal remains of a Velociraptor (small predatory theropod dinosaur) that lived in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia some 75 million years ago.

The findings published online in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, and Palaeoecology, support the idea that Velociraptor, a carnivore with a specialised sickle shaped slashing talon on the second toe of each foot and large grasping hands, would also scavenge on available carcasses rather than turn down a free meal.

They also indicate that small non-avian dinosaurs were capable of consuming relatively large bones, something that we see in modern crocodiles.

The international research team involved scientists from University College Dublin, Ireland; the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, Japan; the Museum of Natural Sciences, Okayama, Japan; and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatr, Mongolia.

"It would be difficult and probably even dangerous for the small theropod dinosaur to target a pterosaur with a wingspan of 2 metres or more, unless the pterosaur was already ill or injured," says Dr David Hone, one of the co-authors of the study, who was based at the UCD School of Biology and Environmental Sciences, University College Dublin, Ireland, at the time of the analysis.

"So the pterosaur bone we've identified in the gut of the Velociraptor was most likely scavenged from a carcass rather than the result of a predatory kill."

The fossil, originally recovered from the Gobi Desert in 1994, shows the well preserved 75 mm long pterosaur bone lodged in the upper part of the Velociraptor ribcage where its stomach would have been.

"The surface of the bone is smooth and in good condition, with no unusual traces of marks or deformation that could be attributed to digestive acids," says Dr Hone.

"So it's likely that the Velociraptor itself died not long after ingesting the bone."

Further analysis of the skeletal remains of the Velociraptor showed that it was carrying, or recovering from, an injury to its ribs when it died.

This is the first time that bones from a pterosaur have been uncovered as gut contents from dinosaur remains.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dominic Martella
dominic.martella@ucd.ie
353-872-959-118
University College Dublin
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Polysternon isonae, a new species of turtle that lived with dinosaurs in Isona
2. Plant-eating dinosaur discovered in Antarctica
3. Dinosaurs with killer claws yield new theory about flight
4. New Montana State University, Pennsylvania study reveals North Americas biggest dinosaur
5. New horned dinosaur announced nearly 100 years after discovery
6. Skin bones helped large dinosaurs survive, new study says
7. Paleontologist describes large nest of juvenile dinosaurs, first of their genus ever found
8. Super-sized muscle made twin-horned dinosaur a speedster
9. Rebuilding the head of an armoured dinosaur
10. Tree resin captures evolution of feathers on dinosaurs and birds
11. Newborn dinosaur discovered in Maryland
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... FRANCISCO and BANGALORE, India , ... of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... provider, today announced a global partnership that will ... way to use mobile banking and payment services. ... is a key innovation area for financial services, but it ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... be implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution ... the biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with ... of modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of ... ID readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in ... clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a new partnership ... platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key health measurements, ... index, and, when they opt in, share them with ... a local retail location at no cost. By leveraging ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... Korean researchers say Manumycin A triggers ... a new way to treat the disease. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article ... from several Korean institutions based their mesothelioma study on the fact the Manumycin A, ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... ... 19, 2016 , ... KCAS Bioanalytical and Biomarker Services, a ... Large Molecule & Biomarker Bioanalysis. , Dr. Siddiqui has more than 15 years ... preclinical and clinical safety programs. “We’ve seen significant demand for, and we are ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... NEW YORK , May 18, 2016 ... challenges, but it does not mean that there are no ... equities: Threshold Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: THLD ), Seattle ... CHMA ), and Ophthotech Corp. (NASDAQ: ... and trading alerts at: http://www.activewallst.com/ ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... Switzerland , May 18, 2016 ... GONAL-f® 2.0 prefilled pen following approval by EMA, the ... a leading science and technology company, the new pen ... bring an increased level of confidence to patients during ... new GONAL-f® prefilled pen easier to handle with a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: