May 12, 2021 00:21 GMT
Researchers believe the discovery will aid in a better understanding of the Jurassic food chain.
More than 180 million years ago, in the early Jurassic period, an ancient squid-like creature captured delicious crustaceans with its many paws. However, he did not enjoy it: he barely proceeded to eat it when it became prey to a prehistoric shark, according to reports. Phys.org.
The shark tore off a large piece of meat from the mollusk and continued on its way.
The remains of an ancient squid, and the crustaceans in its mouth, slowly sank to the ocean floor and over millions of years became fossilized.
Fossils of both animals were discovered in the 1970s at a quarry near Stuttgart (Germany). It was kept in a private collection for several decades and was later acquired by the local Natural History Museum.
In an article published in Swiss Journal of Paleontology, A group of researchers describe the fossilized discovery and detail what they were able to discover about the relationship between ancient cephalopods and vertebrate predators.
“We think it is the remains of food from a vertebrate predator, perhaps a havianus shark, from the early Jurassic period. This is remarkable, because it indicates cephalopod and vertebrate predatory behavior,” the scientists concluded.
The reason to assume this is food leftover from a shark is that the predator is not left until it has finished eating, possibly because cephalopods have strong heads, hard, pointed beaks and are difficult to digest.
This means that the hunter does not have to be an ichthyosaur, although these extinct marine reptiles were particularly adept at hunting plemnites, a group of prehistoric cephalopod mollusks and also disappeared squid. However, the stomach contents of the found ichthyosaurs showed only tentacles of pelimite, without solid parts.
On the other hand, the fossilized stomachs of marine crocodiles and predatory fish indicate that these creatures ate them completely.