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Re: *Mauisaurus* vs large pterosaurs

Be careful about this one: I hear that the gut content of this plesiosaur is 
rather poorly preserved and it's pterosaur affinities are doubtful. In fact, 
the only compelling predators of pterosaurs we know of from marine environments 
are fish: there have been claims of a marine crocodile with pterosaur gut 
content, but the pterosaur remains were probably fish bones. A  pterosaur 
Spieballen was attributed to a crocodilian origin, but if modern crocs are 
anything to go by, we shouldn't expect them to hock up thin little pterosaur 
bones. Hence, like the famous cf. Preondactylus Spieballen, the latter was most 
likely generated by a big, predatory fish. Further evidence for fishy predation 
on pterosaurs comes from Squalicorax, the Niobrara Chalk shark that's left 
numerous bite marks on on some Pteranodon bones.

Of course, I'm not saying other marine animals wouldn't eat pterosaurs, just 
that direct evidence for it is presently lacking.



>>> don ohmes <d_ohmes@yahoo.com> 07/10/09 9:08 PM >>>

--- On Wed, 10/7/09, don ohmes <d_ohmes@yahoo.com> wrote:

> I have never seen this seemingly obvious idea in print,
> though, nor heard it advanced in conversation. Does anyone
> have a reference to the contrary, rebuttal, criticism
> or comment?
> Don

Aha! "Brown (1904) described plesiosaur remains (AMNH 5803) from the Ft. Pierre 
Formation, at the "head of Hat Creek Basin, 18 mi. southwest of Edgemont, South 
Dakota" that contained fish vertebrae, broken pterodactyl bones, and Scaphites 
as stomach contents."

Brown apparently made no mention of how the ptero bones got there, though.
< http://www.oceansofkansas.com/Brown-04.html>

Thanks to Mike Everhart!


Dr. Mark Witton

Palaeobiology Research Group
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road

Tel: (44)2392 842418
E-mail: Mark.Witton@port.ac.uk