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Rhamphorhynchus tangled in Aspidorhnychus teeth
From: Ben Creisler
A new paper in PLoS ONE:
Frey, E. & Tischlinger, H. (2012)
The Late Jurassic Pterosaur Rhamphorhynchus, a Frequent Victim of the
Ganoid Fish Aspidorhynchus?
PLoS ONE 7(3): e31945.
Associations of large vertebrates are exceedingly rare in the Late
Jurassic Solnhofen Limestone of Bavaria, Southern Germany. However,
there are five specimens of medium-sized pterosaur Rhamphorhynchus
that lie adjacent to the rostrum of a large individual of the ganoid
fish Aspidorhynchus. In one of these, a small leptolepidid fish is
still sticking in the esophagus of the pterosaur and its stomach is
full of fish debris. This suggests that the Rhamphorhynchus was seized
during or immediately after a successful hunt. According to the fossil
record, Rhamphorhynchus frequently were accidentally seized by large
Aspidorhnychus. In some cases the fibrous tissue of the wing membrane
got entangled with the rostral teeth such that the fish was unable to
get rid of the pterosaur. Such encounters ended fatally for both.
Intestinal contents of Aspidorhynchus-type fishes are known and mostly
comprise fishes and in one single case a Homoeosaurus. Obviously
Rhamphorhynchus did not belong to the prey spectrum of Aspidorhynchus.