[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
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.
My online art gallery:
Comments and critics are appreciated.
On the road to retirement? Check out MSN Life Events for advice on how to
get there! http://lifeevents.msn.com/category.aspx?cid=Retirement