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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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