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GEOREF RECORD

Feeding traces on a Pteranodon (Reptilia, Pterosauria) bone from the late Cretaceous (Campanian) Mooreville Chalk in Alabama, USA

Dana J. Ehret and T. Lynn Harrell
Feeding traces on a Pteranodon (Reptilia, Pterosauria) bone from the late Cretaceous (Campanian) Mooreville Chalk in Alabama, USA
Palaios (September 2018) 33 (9): 414-418

Abstract

Pterosaur remains are exceptionally rare in the Late Cretaceous marine chalks of Alabama and the few specimens found are typically very fragmentary. We report the occurrence of a metacarpal of Pteranodon cf. longiceps from the Mooreville Chalk (Campanian, 83 million years old) of Dallas County, Alabama. The Pteranodon specimen exhibits serrated teeth marks on the surface of the bone and a second set of larger, unserrated teeth marks unlike those of any contemporary shark species. These feeding traces compare favorably with the tooth spacing and morphology of Squalicorax kaupi, and a small to moderate-sized saurodontid fish, such as Saurodon or Saurocephalus, respectively. In both instances, feeding traces appear to be scavenging events due to the lack of any healing or bone remodeling. During the Campanian, Dallas County, Alabama, was a shallow-marine environment comprising part of the Mississippi Embayment. It is hypothesized that the specimen represents a pterosaur that either fell into marine waters or was washed out from nearshore areas and then scavenged by both a chondrichthyan and osteichthyan. This type of scavenging behavior has been recorded on other taxonomic groups from Alabama during the Late Cretaceous. However, the fragile, hollow bones of pterosaurs make their preservation rare.


ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 33
Serial Issue: 9
Title: Feeding traces on a Pteranodon (Reptilia, Pterosauria) bone from the late Cretaceous (Campanian) Mooreville Chalk in Alabama, USA
Affiliation: New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ, United States
Pages: 414-418
Published: 201809
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 33
Accession Number: 2018-082117
Categories: Vertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch map
N32°25'60" - N32°25'60", W87°13'60" - W87°13'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Alabama Geological Survey, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 2018
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