Monday, 22 June 2020

Fossil Reptiles not Picky Eaters

Fossil Reptiles not Picky Eaters

Not a surprising headline but a difficult one to verify. But a PhD student at Bristol has done so for a couple of species. A correspondent brought THIS ARTICLE to my notice, for which I am very grateful.

The student, Sofia Chambi-Trowell, CT scanned skulls of 200 Ma rhynchocephalians and worked out the bite forces and pressures their jaws could produce. And found them capable of eating the small mammals, reptiles  and bugs in their environment. 

The fossils came from Permo-Triassic fissure deposits in the Carboniferous Limestone.

Clevosaurus hudsoni could eat crunchier prey than Clevosaurus cambrica and this mirrored what was happening with the areas mammals which had been studied earlier. Presumably the two species could live side by side without encroaching on the others diet.

Two species of the lizard-like reptile Clevosaurus hunting their preferred prey; Clevosaurus hudsoni feeding on a crunchy beetle (top) and Clevosaurus cambrica (bottom) feeding on a softer insect. Image Credit: Sofia Chambi-Trowell

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