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RE: marine reptile McMenu
Dan Varner wrote:
> It has been suggested that the unusual South American plesiosaur,
> Aristonectes, was a filter feeder.
> See: http://www.plesiosauria.com/aristonectes.html
Thanks Dan. If _Aristonectes_ used its small teeth and wide jaws to strain out
small prey, then I guess it qualifies as a filter-feeder. A similar life-style
has been proposed for the New Zealand plesiosaur _Kaiwhekea_ by Martin and
Fernandez (2007; Geol. J. 42: 203–211); although the original authors suggest
that the jaws and teeth of _Kaiwakhea_ seem better adapted for handling more
substantial prey (Cruickshank and Fordyce, 2002; Palaeontol. 45: 557-575).
Maybe certain Cretaceous filter-feeders were specialized for feeding on krill.
Molecular analyses have suggested that krill (Euphausiidae) appeared some time
during the Cretaceous period (Jarman, 2001; Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 73: 199-212).
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