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Sinocalliopteryx (Theropoda: Compsognathidae) ate confuciusornithids and dromaeosaurids



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


New in PLoS ONE:


Lida Xing, Phil R. Bell, W. Scott Persons, Shuan Ji, Tetsuto
Miyashita, Michael E. Burns, Qiang Ji & Philip J. Currie (2012)
Abdominal Contents from Two Large Early Cretaceous Compsognathids
(Dinosauria: Theropoda) Demonstrate Feeding on Confuciusornithids and
Dromaeosaurids.
PLoS ONE 7(8): e44012.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044012
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0044012

Two skeletons of the large compsognathid Sinocalliopteryx gigas
include intact abdominal contents. Both specimens come from the
Jianshangou Beds of the lower Yixian Formation (Neocomian), Liaoning,
China. The holotype of S. gigas preserves a partial dromaeosaurid leg
in the abdominal cavity, here attributed to Sinornithosaurus. A
second, newly-discovered specimen preserves the remains of at least
two individuals of the primitive avialan, Confuciusornis sanctus, in
addition to acid-etched bones from a possible ornithischian. Although
it cannot be stated whether such prey items were scavenged or actively
hunted, the presence of two Confuciusornis in a grossly similar state
of digestion suggests they were consumed in rapid succession. Given
the lack of clear arboreal adaptations in Sinocalliopteryx, we suggest
it may have been an adept stealth hunter.