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Microraptor also ate fish



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new online paper:

Lida Xing, W. Scott Persons IV, Phil R. Bell, Xing Xu, Jianping Zhang,
Tetsuto Miyashita, Fengping Wang & Philip J. Currie (2013)
Piscivory in the feathered dinosaur Microraptor.
Evolution (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1111/evo.12119
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/evo.12119/abstract


The largest specimen of the four-winged dromaeosaurid dinosaur
Microraptor gui includes preserved gut contents. Previous reports of
gut contents and considerations of functional morphology have
indicated that Microraptor hunted in an arboreal environment. The new
specimen demonstrates that this was not strictly the case, and offers
unique insights into the ecology of nonavian dinosaurs early in the
evolution of flight. The preserved gut contents are composed of
teleost fish remains. Several morphological adaptations of Microraptor
are identified as consistent with a partially piscivorous diet,
including dentition with reduced serrations and forward projecting
teeth on the anterior of the dentary. The feeding habits of
Microraptor can now be understood better than that of any other
carnivorous nonavian dinosaur, and Microraptor appears to have been an
opportunistic and generalist feeder, able to exploit the most common
prey in both the arboreal and aquatic microhabitats of the Early
Cretaceous Jehol ecosystem.