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Mosasaur bite marks on nautiloid shell



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new paper:

Erle G. Kauffman & Jordan K. Sawdo (2013)
Mosasaur predation on a nautiloid from the Maastrichtian Pierre Shale,
Central Colorado, Western Interior Basin, United States.
Lethaia 46(2): 180–187
DOI: 10.1111/j.1502-3931.2012.00332.x
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1502-3931.2012.00332.x/abstract


Mosasaurs were common predators on the ammonites that inhabited the
upper water column of the Late Cretaceous Western Interior
epicontinental seaway of North America. Mosasaurs developed
predictable behaviour patterns for feeding on ammonite prey. There are
no previous reports of mosasaur predation on the much less common
Cretaceous nautiloids, possibly because of the prey's predominantly
deep, epibenthic habitat, as deduced from modern Nautilus life habits.
A single specimen of the highly inflated nautiloid, Eutrephoceras
dekayi (Conrad), prey to a small adult mosasaur, likely Platycarpus,
Prognathodon or Mosasaurus, is reported herein from the Pierre Shale
of Colorado in the Early Maastrichtian biozone of Baculitesgrandis
transitional to the biozone of B. clinolobatus. The nautiloid was
killed in the same manner as described previously for discoid
ammonites (Placenticeras, Sphenodiscus) from coeval strata in the USA
and Canada.