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Abdominal contents from two large Early Cretaceous compsognathids (Dinosauria: Theropoda) demonstrate feeding on confuciusornithids and dromaeosaurids

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Two skeletons of the large compsognathid Sinocalliopteryx gigas include intact abdominal contents. Both specimens come from the Jianshangou Beds of the lower Yixian Formation (Neocomian), Liaoning, China. The holotype of S. gigas preserves a partial dromaeosaurid leg in the abdominal cavity, here attributed to Sinornithosaurus. A second, newly-discovered specimen preserves the remains of at least two individuals of the primitive avialan, Confuciusornis sanctus, in addition to acid-etched bones from a possible ornithischian. Although it cannot be stated whether such prey items were scavenged or actively hunted, the presence of two Confuciusornis in a grossly similar state of digestion suggests they were consumed in rapid succession. Given the lack of clear arboreal adaptations in Sinocalliopteryx, we suggest it may have been an adept stealth hunter.

  • Date created
    2012
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3TX3563Z
  • License
    © 2012 Xing, L., et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Xing, L., Bell, P.R., Ji, S., Ji, Q., Miyashita, T., Persons, W.S., Burns, M.E., and Currie, P.J. (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.