Cretaceous Crocodiles Ate Ornithopod Dinosaurs, Fossil Evidence Shows |

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Cretaceous Crocodiles Ate Ornithopod Dinosaurs, Fossil Evidence Shows paleontology science

, a paleontologist with the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History and the Palaeoscience Research Centre at the University of New England, and his colleagues.The researchers also found the partly digested remains of a juvenile“Collectively, the ornithopod remains comprise three dorsal vertebrae, two sacral centra, three distal caudal centra, both proximal femora, left tibia, and several other elements; all presumably from a single individual,” they said.

“These gut contents oddly represent the first recorded skeletal remains of ornithopods from the Winton Formation and may represent a new species.”in dorsal aspect; ventral aspect; left lateral aspect; close-up of pectoral region with ventral osteoderms removed ; abdominal contents showing ornithopod remains. Image credit: WhiteThe dinosaur’s estimated body mass falls well within the size range for expected prey of, which has an estimated body length of 2.5 m based on the preserved elements.

would not have specialized in eating dinosaurs, it would not have overlooked an easy meal, such as the young ornithopod remains found in its stomach,” Dr. White said. “The find suggests dinosaurs were intrinsically part of the Cretaceous ecology as scavengers, predators and prey,” he added.“Given the lack of comparable global specimens, this prehistoric crocodile and its last meal will continue to provide clues to the relationships and behaviors of animals that inhabited Australia millions of years ago.”


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