Unprecedented: found the tooth of a pterosaur, stuck in the body of the squid

the international research group has described a unique discovery made in late Jurassic limestone deposits of Solnhofen in Germany. We are talking about the tooth of a pterosaur, stuck in the body of the squid.

was Found the tooth of a pterosaur has a length of 19 millimeters.Photo Hoffmann et al, 2020, Scientific Reports.

the age of the remains is estimated at 150 million years, and they are unique for two reasons.

first, the soft tissue is very quickly decomposed, but the remains of well preserved cephalopods. The fact that in the upper Jurassic limestone Solnhofen was a layered sedimentary rocks in the lagoons, periodically flooded by sea water. The high salt content of protected animal remains from decomposition.

second, the new finding makes it possible to learn more about food and hunting strategies of ancient flying lizards.

Recall that pterosaurs — winged reptiles that appeared on Earth about 228 million years ago and became extinct along with the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Paleontologists know more than a hundred of species.

Tooth, discovered in Solnhofen limestone belongs to the pterosaur species Rhamphorhynchus muensteri. Is representative of the kind of Emporiki. Length of the largest individuals of this species was 1.26 meters and a wingspan — of 1.81 meters. In R. muensteri was curved like the beak jaw with needle teeth, perfect for catching fish.

Actually, the fact that pterosaurs fed on fish, has long been known in their fossilised stomachs have been found the scales and bones of fish. The new finding proves that camporini also enjoyed the cephalopods.

Tooth R. muensteri stuck in the body of the squid of the species Plesioteuthis subovata. It was an adult 30-inch specimen. Survived even the ink bag and the ink itself.

Palaeontologists still weren’t sure who were the flying reptiles are predators or scavengers. Also it was unclear how exactly they get their food on the water surface or diving into the water (like modern sea birds, e.g., gannets).

after Examining the remains of the squid and the angle of the tooth of a pterosaur, the researchers concluded that the latter attacked the victim on the surface of the water or near it. It is unlikely that the Raptor dived into the water or slip on it. Instead, it likely hunted either in flight or resting on the surface of the water like a Seagull.

the Authors unique findings suggest that in this case, the squid was a hunter in the literal sense, not in the teeth: he was too large, so that the pterosaur could pull out of the water.

the article presented in the journal PLoS one, paleontologists claim to have obtained the first direct evidence of an unsuccessful attempt predatory pterosaur catch cephalopod mollusk. In addition, this finding proves that camporini were not scavengers (or combined this type of food hunting).

I wonder if he died after the squid attack, or lived some time with a broken tooth lodged in his robe.

by the Way, earlier “Conduct.Science” told about the peculiarities of feathers and diet of pterosaurs and winged lizards, victim of the battle with the shark.

Text: To.Science