Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ancient fossil remains reveal Velociraptor's last meal

Date:
March 6, 2012
Source:
University College Dublin
Summary:
Scientists have discovered a bone from a Pterosaur in the guts of the skeletal remains of a Velociraptor that lived in the Gobi Desert about 75 million years ago. The findings support the idea that Velociraptor, a carnivore with a specialized sickle-shaped slashing talon on the second toe of each foot and large grasping hands, would also scavenge on any available carcasses.

Artist’s impression of a Velociraptor scavenging the carcass of a Pterosaur.
Credit: Brett Booth

A preserved bone of a Pterosaur was found in the stomach of a Velociraptor.

Related Articles


Scientists have discovered a bone from a pterosaur (giant flying reptile or 'pterodactyl') in the guts of the skeletal remains of a Velociraptor (small predatory theropod dinosaur) that lived in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia some 75 million years ago.

The findings published online in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, and Palaeoecology, support the idea that Velociraptor, a carnivore with a specialised sickle shaped slashing talon on the second toe of each foot and large grasping hands, would also scavenge on available carcasses rather than turn down a free meal.

They also indicate that small non-avian dinosaurs were capable of consuming relatively large bones, something that we see in modern crocodiles.

The international research team involved scientists from University College Dublin, Ireland; the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, Japan; the Museum of Natural Sciences, Okayama, Japan; and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatr, Mongolia.

"It would be difficult and probably even dangerous for the small theropod dinosaur to target a pterosaur with a wingspan of 2 metres or more, unless the pterosaur was already ill or injured," says Dr David Hone, one of the co-authors of the study, who was based at the UCD School of Biology and Environmental Sciences, University College Dublin, Ireland, at the time of the analysis.

"So the pterosaur bone we've identified in the gut of the Velociraptor was most likely scavenged from a carcass rather than the result of a predatory kill."

The fossil, originally recovered from the Gobi Desert in 1994, shows the well preserved 75 mm long pterosaur bone lodged in the upper part of the Velociraptor ribcage where its stomach would have been.

"The surface of the bone is smooth and in good condition, with no unusual traces of marks or deformation that could be attributed to digestive acids," says Dr Hone.

"So it's likely that the Velociraptor itself died not long after ingesting the bone."

Further analysis of the skeletal remains of the Velociraptor showed that it was carrying, or recovering from, an injury to its ribs when it died.

This is the first time that bones from a pterosaur have been uncovered as gut contents from dinosaur remains.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University College Dublin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University College Dublin. "Ancient fossil remains reveal Velociraptor's last meal." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120306131358.htm>.
University College Dublin. (2012, March 6). Ancient fossil remains reveal Velociraptor's last meal. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120306131358.htm
University College Dublin. "Ancient fossil remains reveal Velociraptor's last meal." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120306131358.htm (accessed February 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Friday, February 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gerbils, Not Rats, Might Be To Blame For The Black Death

Gerbils, Not Rats, Might Be To Blame For The Black Death

Newsy (Feb. 24, 2015) The "black death" that killed tens of millions of people has been blamed on rats for years, but now researchers say they may have gotten a bad rap. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Timbuktu Manuscripts Face an Uncertain Future

Timbuktu Manuscripts Face an Uncertain Future

AFP (Feb. 23, 2015) Two years ago a large number of manuscripts were taken from Timbuktu for safe keeping. Now the question is whether to return them. Duration: 02:50 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Did A Mummy End Up In A 1,000-Year-Old Buddha Statue?

How Did A Mummy End Up In A 1,000-Year-Old Buddha Statue?

Newsy (Feb. 23, 2015) A CT scan has revealed a mummified Chinese monk inside a Buddha statue. The remains date back about 1,000 years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare First Folio Arrives at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Rare First Folio Arrives at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Feb. 23, 2015) A rare First Folio discovered in a French library arrives at the Shakespeare&apos;s Globe Theatre in London, where the Bard&apos;s plays were first performed. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins