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Re: Eating a Nautilus (attn: Gothgrrl)
Larry Dunn wrote:
> Just slightly off topic for a change.
> Did Mosasaurs and Pliosaurs eat nautiloids whole? Did they crack them
> open with their jaws? Did stomach muscles crush the shells? Does the
> fossil record help with these questions?
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Apparently the back teeth of Kronosaurus are rounded, and
it has been suggested that it probably used its sharp front teeth
to grasp prey, and its back teeth to crush the shells of ammonites.
I have also heard of Robert Bakker demonstrating how mosasaur jaws
worked in a scissor-like fashion to crack the ammonite shells.
Modern lizards such as large skinks (blue tongue lizards and
shingle backs come to mind) crack the shells of snails and manage
to manipulate them in their mouths to remove most of the shell.
Invariably some shell will make it into their stomachs though, and
I imagine the same was true of extinct marine reptiles.