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RE: seed-eating theropods
The oldest record of seed consumption among dinosaurs is the specimen of
_Jeholornis_ (a long-tailed bird which may be referred to _Shenzhouraptor_)
with 50 seeds in its gut. It had an array of sharp little teeth in its
mouth rather than a toothless beak but its dentition does not does not
resemble that of _Incisivosaurus_ (_Protarchaeopteryx_). That is not to say
that basal oviraptorosaurs could not have consumed seeds, but we don't have
any published record of this yet.
It is possible that _Jeholornis_ consumed fleshy plant parts that just
happened to include seeds (such as small ginkgo "fruits"). The _Jeholornis_
specimen contains seeds, but the seeds don't appear to have been broken up,
nor does the specimen contain gastroliths so far as I know.
On the other hand, whereas one _Yanornis_ specimen contained fish remains
(and no gastroliths), another contained both gastroliths and unidentified
plant material (which looked something like stems rather than seeds in the
fuzzy photo I saw in the PDF), so _Yanornis_ appears to have been
omnivorous, perhaps altering its diet in response to changing seasons.
Dino Guy Ralph
Docent at the California Academy of Sciences
Dinosaur and Fossil Education
Member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, December 26, 2006 2:08 PM
Subject: re: seed-eating therapods
>Subject: Re: Gastric stones of dinosaurs were not for milling food !
>Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2006 21:06:23 +0100 (CET)
>The reason why modern birds have gastric stones,
>basically, cannot apply to sauropods. Seed-eating
>theropods (was there such a thing?), maybe.
Could such a creature have evolved? Would a non-beaked* seed-eating
theropod have resembled Incisaraptor(sp) more than Therizinosaurs?
* = for specificness' sake, I'm referring to modern birds; not to Oviraptor.
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