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Re: Plesiosaur question



At 01:48 PM 3/8/99 EST, Danvarner@aol.com wrote:
>In a message dated 99-03-08 13:02:47 EST, you write:
>
><< 
> In Prehistoric Times (I think), they had an article on last year's
> discoveries.  One was on a plesiosaur that had stomach contents
> intact, several amonites.  The article indicated that 1) plesiosaur
> teeth couldn't crack the shell, 2) that the amonites were found in
> the area of the stomach cavity intact with no sign of shells, and
> concluded that stomach acids had disolved the shells.  
>  >>
>
>  I don't know the original source for this, but certainly the plesiosaur's
>stomach acids would make short work of the ammonites' calcium carbonate
>shells. Same thing happens to aquatic snail shells when ingested by modern
>sunfish. I believe other finds of stomach contents consisting of cephalopod
>beaks have been made. 
>  Perhaps the author was thinking of the rounded teeth of the mosasaur,
>Globidens, as a specialization for processing shellfish. Globidens' closest
>relative, Prognathodon, is the prime suspect as the ammonite-eater in
>mosasaurs yet has stout but pointed teeth. The main idea is to gain entry to
>the living chamber of the ammonite by biting or crushing followed by removal
>of the organism. I see no reason to prevent some of the plesiosaurs from
doing
>this also. Dan Varner.
>

It seems like an acid that would destroy the shell would make quick work
of an ammonite.  Since the article indicated over ten were found in a
recognizable condition, it seemed strange.  I thought something must 
be missing.

-Randy