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Theropod tooth embedded in sauropod rib

From: Ben Creisler

A new online paper that should become available at:


Xing L., Bell, P.R., Currie, P.J., Shibata M., Tseng K. & Dong Z. (2012)
A sauropod rib with an embedded theropod tooth: direct evidence for
feeding behaviour in the Jehol group, China.
Lethaia (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1111/j.1502-3931.2012.00310.x.

A fragmentary rib from the Lower Cretaceous (Barremian) Yixian
Formation in northeastern China preserves rare, direct evidence of
feeding behaviour by an unidentified theropod. The rib, which comes
from the holotype of Dongbetitan, preserves an embedded, broken
theropod tooth. Comparison of the tooth with all known theropods from
the Yixian Formation suggests that it belongs to a new taxon of
medium-sized theropod. Given the large size difference between the
sauropod and the theropod and the absence of reactive bone growth
around the tooth, the bite likely occurred post-mortem during
scavenging. Recognition of a new, medium-sized theropod increases the
known diversity of taxa from the Yixian Formation and helps fill a gap
in the theropod palaeoecology of that formation, which previously
consisted of only small (<2 m) forms.