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Molluscivory take two and a few other things

I think from the answers I got to my question whether actual fossil evidence preserves molluscivory Phil Bigelow with his:

"A taphonomic study of predation damage on large Mesozoic freshwater
mollusk shells would make a great masters thesis."

hit the nail in the head. Yes, I want to know if there are studies of such fossil bivalve populations and any record of land vertebrate predation on these. Or if anyone could get onto that study right this minute ;-) and of course correlate this with predation damage on extant populations of bivalves. I would find more interesting to know that in fact such predation existed than to look at a strange set of jaws and figure out what they do.
Not that I didn't find any of the other answers interesting...

To that objection of finding crushed shell in sauropod coproliths I remember that finely crushed hadrosaur bone was found in a coprolith attributed to Tyrannosaurus and being stomach acids generaly stronger in carnivores...

On another note it would be interesting, if any paleosol is available from the Cretaceous, to find stones surrounded by broken shells of snails. Maybe some theropod was clever enough to use them as anvils as thrushes do (was that a pleonasm?).

On that shell-oppening method, given the unability of maniraptors and coelurosaurs in general to pronate their hands extensively I would argue that an oviraptorosaur would deftly pick up the excavated clam or mussel hold it between its second phalanx and metacarpal and then introduce the thumb claw inbetween the valves of the mollusk and cut the aductor muscles of its prey. Is this method too elaborate or unfeasible? I can imagine the antics a juvenile dinosaur would get into trying to learn this ;-D

I find it pretty interesting that they find unionid mussels in the Morrison Formation. During my Ecology classes I learned that extant unionids are indicators of healthy riverine systems with clear water and abundant populations of fish as these are needed for the unionid larvae's development. Though I know it's dificult to ascertain where this dependance of fish gills for these mussel's reproduction appeared.

Renato Santos

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