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"Fossil find shows Velociraptor eating another dinosaur"
Palaeontologists have uncovered fossil fragments of Velociraptor teeth
alongside scarred bones of the large horned herbivore Protoceratops.
The teeth of the predator match marks on the herbivore's bones, suggesting
Velociraptor scavenged its carcass.
The discovery is further evidence that predatory dinosaurs both hunted and
scavenged their plant-eating relatives.
Dr David Hone of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing made the new
discovery in Upper Cretaceous deposits at Bayan Mandahu, in Inner
Colleague Dr Jonah Choiniere originally found a mass of badly eroded
Protoceratops bones. Among them lay two Velociraptor-like teeth.
Together with Dr Hone and colleagues Dr Corwin Sullivan and Dr Mike
Pittman, Dr Choiniere analysed the fossils for bite marks.
The team found the Protoceratops bones were scarred in this way, and the
bite marks matched the teeth found alongside.
The Velociraptor found at the site likely scavenged this particular
Protoceratops, rather than hunted it.
"The marks were on and around bits of the jaw," Dr Hone told the BBC.
"Protoceratops probably weighed many times what a Velociraptor did, with
lots of muscle to eat. Why scrape away at the jaws, where there's
obviously not much muscle, so heavily that you scratch the bone and lose
teeth unless there was not much else there.
"In short, this looks like scavenging as the animal would be feeding on
the haunches and guts first, not the cheeks.