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RE: Gastroliths (Theropods)



At 09:57 PM 4/19/99 -0700, Ben Creisler wrote:

>The recent thread on dinosaur gastroliths mentioned a couple
>of coelurosaurs (an ornithomimid and an oviraptorosaur) that
>were found with "stomach stones." Although the received wisdom
>has long been that carnosaurs, if not nearly all other theropods,
>lacked gastroliths, a couple of reported examples deserve mention.

And, in fact, those who've "recieved" that wisdom should probably have
ignored it anyway...

Gastroliths are minimally a basal archosaur character (crocs got'em, birds
got'em, so the simplest evolutionary answer is that the most recent common
ancestor of cros & birds had'em).

What _Lourihnosaurus_ DOES document is the *observed* presence of these in
the belly of a (probable) carnosaur.

It further supports the observation that the presence of gastroliths in and
of themselves is not support for herbivory (or non-carnivory of some sort...).

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:tholtz@geol.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661