Analysis of the abdominal contents of two dinosaur fossil specimens reveals new information about their hunting and eating behavior. The full report is published Aug. 29 in the open access journal PLOS ONE.
The authors, led by Phil Bell of the Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative in Canada, investigated the abdominal contents of two specimens of Sinocalliopteryx gigas, a small carnivorous dinosaur from China. One specimen appeared to have eaten a bird-like dinosaur, and the other's abdominal cavity contained the remains of at least two primitive birds. The researchers could not determine whether the prey had been actively hunted or scavenged, but other evidence suggests that the Sinocalliopteryx were adept stealth hunters who may have tackled prey more than a third their own size.
Citation: Xing L, Bell PR, Persons WS IV, Ji S, Miyashita T, et al. (2012) Abdominal Contents from Two Large Early Cretaceous Compsognathids (Dinosauria: Theropoda) Demonstrate Feeding on Confuciusornithids and Dromaeosaurids. PLOS ONE 7(8): e44012. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044012
Financial Disclosure: The authors have no support or funding to report. Competing Interest Statement: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
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