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RE: Sauropterygian falls?
Renatos Santos wrote:
Perhaps off topic but I can't help wonder what animals would constitute
this type of communities in the Mesozoic as there were sauropterygians and
ichthyosaurs in those days.
(Thanks for the link to a very interesting article.)
My understanding of this stuff (which is reinforced by the Nature article)
is that whale carcasses provide the foundation of a unique ecosystem due to
the sheer size and 'fattiness' of the beasts.
As the article says: "Worms, clams and mussels, to name but a few, all take
up residence, each getting their metabolic fix from the chemical energy
provided by the fat-rich marrow in whale bones. Such complex communities
have not been reported on the bones of other marine mammals, says Craig
Smith, a whale-fall expert from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. This is
probably because whale bones are so much larger and fat-rich, he says."