Journal of Geology
Another new... uh, paper...
Q. Ji, X. Wu, Y. Cheng, F. Ten, X. Wang, and Y. Ji (2016)
Fish hunting ankylosaurs (Dinosauria, Ornithischia) from the Cretaceous of China
All ornithischian dinosaurs are herbivorous or omnivorous. Ornithischian
Xu et al., 2001 is an ankylosaur. Here we
report a new specimen of L. paradoxus
from China. It contains a number
of fish skeletons. We interpret those remains as stomach or gut contents
and hence as strong evidence for the meat-eating diet of the dinosaur.
With elongate and fork-like denticles of cheek tooth crowns, L. paradoxus
has a dentition capable of penetrating into animals like small fishes.
The carnivorous adaptation of the dinosaur is also supported by the
ungual modification to a sharp claw in both the fore- and hind-limbs. The
evolution of a shield-like ventral armor plate and the loose
sacrum-pelvic connection suggest that L. paradoxus
may have adopted an
aquatic way of life, using the ventral armor plate to protect the body
from underwater attacks; as such, the open suture between the neural arch
and centrum of the vertebrae cannot be used to indicate the juvenile
nature of the type specimen. L. paradoxus
is the first carnivorous
ornithischian dinosaur since dinosaur was first known in the 18th
century and represents not only the first aquatic or semi aquatic
example of armored dinosaurs but also the smallest species of
ornithischian dinosaur so far known.