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"Pterosaur" in Triassic gastric pellet is protorosaur
New in PLoS ONE:
Borja Holgado, Fabio Marco Dalla Vecchia, Josep Fortuny, Federico
Bernardini & Claudio Tuniz (2015)
A Reappraisal of the Purported Gastric Pellet with Pterosaurian Bones
from the Upper Triassic of Italy.
PLoS ONE 10(11): e0141275.
A small accumulation of bones from the Norian (Upper Triassic) of the
Seazza Brook Valley (Carnic Prealps, Northern Italy) was originally
(1989) identified as a gastric pellet made of pterosaur skeletal
elements. The specimen has been reported in literature as one of the
very few cases of gastric ejecta containing pterosaur bones since
then. However, the detailed analysis of the bones preserved in the
pellet, their study by X-ray microCT, and the comparison with those of
basal pterosaurs do not support a referral to the Pterosauria.
Comparison with the osteology of a large sample of Middle-Late
Triassic reptiles shows some affinity with the protorosaurians, mainly
with Langobardisaurus pandolfii that was found in the same formation
as the pellet. However, differences with this species suggest that the
bones belong to a similar but distinct taxon. The interpretation as a
gastric pellet is confirmed.