Paleontology: Bottom-feeding plesiosaurs

Colin McHenry, Alex G Cook, Stephen Wroe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Elasmosaurid plesiosaurs were an important part of Cretaceous marine reptile communities and are generally considered to have been predators of small, agile, free-swimming fish and cephalopods. Two elasmosaurid specimens from Aptian and Albian deposits in Queensland, Australia, include fossilized gut contents dominated by benthic invertebrates: bivalves, gastropods, and crustaceans. Both specimens also contained large numbers of gastroliths (stomach stones). These finds point to a wider niche than has previously been supposed for these seemingly specialized predators and may also influence long-running controversy over the question of gastrolith function in plesiosaurs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75 - 75
Number of pages1
Issue number5745
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

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