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Re: Majungatholus: Apparent Cannibal
Dan Varner wrote:
The report is in this week's (4/3/2003) edition of Nature. DV
Indeed it is...
Rogers, R.R., Krause, D.W., and Curry Rogers, K. (2003). Cannibalism in the
Madagascan dinosaur Majungatholus atopus. Nature 422: 515-518.
"Many lines of evidence have been brought to bear on the question of
theropod feeding ecology, including functional and physiological
considerations, morphological constraints, taphonomic associations, and
telling?although rare?indications of direct ingestion1-7. Tooth marks of
theropods, although rarely described and generally left unassigned to a
particular taxon, can provide unique clues into predator?prey interaction,
and can also yield insights into the extent of carcass utilization. Here we
describe a sample of tooth-marked dinosaur bone recovered from three
well-documented localities in the Upper Cretaceous Maevarano Formation of
Madagascar that provides insights into the feeding ecology of the
abelisaurid theropod _Majungatholus atopus_. Intensely tooth-marked elements
from multiple individuals show that Majungatholus defleshed dinosaur
carcasses. Furthermore, _Majungatholus_ clearly fed upon the remains of not
only sauropods, but also conspecifics, and thus was a cannibal. Cannibalism
is a common ecological strategy among extant carnivores, but until now the
evidence in relation to carnivorous dinosaurs has been sparse and
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