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Re: seeds and pterosaurs
In a message dated 9/6/99 12:17:15 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> It seems that virtualy all pterosaurs were fish-eaters.
Well, most KNOWN pterosaurs seem to have been fish-eaters.
There is a very good reason for this: small animals with delicate bones are
very rarely preserved away from watery habitats. If a pterosaur dies and
falls into the water, the carcass gets buried very quickly and, potentially,
preserved for us to find. Away from water, the animals get ripped apart, the
bones get stepped on and crushed or eaten away by microorganisms or by acidic
soils (common in forested environments).
Most of the known early birds were also preserved in lake or ocean sediments
(e.g. Archaeopteryx, Confuciusornis, hesperornithiforms, ichthyornithiformes,
It is quite likely, given the ecological distribution of modern birds and the
existence of terrestrial pterosaurs like Sordes, that pterosaurs existed in a
variety of terrestrial habitats, and that they included piscivores,
insectivores, carnivores, and potentially even herbivores. But conditions
being what they are, we will have to be extremely lucky to find any but the
largest and most robust of these, like the azhdarchids (I have heard that
Quetzalcoatlus, at least, was likely a dry-land animal).