Tag: ecosystem

A Food Chain in a Fossil: A snake skeleton with its prey still inside!

The relationship between predator and prey is a primal one, and one that fires the curiosity of many fossil fans. We love paintings of Tyrannosaurus battling Triceratops or saber-toothed cats leaping onto the backs of ground sloths. And we can be pretty sure that those interactions happened based on TRACE FOSSILS, like tooth marks in Triceratops bones that match closely with tyrannosaur teeth. How …

Filed under: Germany, Messel, ecosystem, food chain, insect, invertebrate, lizard, predator, snake

A Tale of Two Crocs: Predators of Cretaceous Spain

I tried to google “crocodiles are living fossils,” to see just how commonly that expression was used in popular articles. There were indeed a few articles that referenced this idea, suggesting that croc fossils from 80 million years ago would look identical the skeletons they have today. However, most were news stories reporting various discoveries in the fossil history of crocodiles and their rel …

Filed under: Cretaceous, Ecology, Europe, Spain, competition, crocodile, dinosaur, ecosystem

Episode 6 Field Guide: Tiny Horses, Galloping Crocs, and Fossilized Jungles

Fossils can be pretty scrappy. The best, most complete stuff is usually put on display at museums and photographed for books and websites, but a vast majority of material collected by paleontologists are fragments: slivers of teeth, fragments of shells, and splinters of bone. Paleontologists are trained to glean as much as they can from the patchy record, but the fragments can still leave a lot of …

Filed under: Archaeopterygx, Cenozoic, China, Ecology, Eocene, Germany, Mammals, Messel, UNESCO, bat, bird, crocodile, dinosaur, ecosystem, feather, horse, jungle, pterosaur, reptile, snake

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