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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> 07/10/09 9:08 PM >>>
--- On Wed, 10/7/09, don ohmes <email@example.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?
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.
Thanks to Mike Everhart!
Dr. Mark Witton
Palaeobiology Research Group
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth
Tel: (44)2392 842418