After Miners Stumbled Upon Fossilized Remains Of A Extinct Creature Dinosaur, In Particular One From The Species Of Borealopelta Markmitchelli
A type of nodosaur, scientists found that its stomach was still intact and were able to decipher what it had eaten moments before it perished. The armour-plated dinosaur, which weighed around 2,800 pounds, was discovered near Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada, and left scientists from the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, Brandon University, and the University of Saskatchewan (USask) astounded. The team started investigating the “extremely well-preserved specimen”, whose stomach contents appeared as a “soccer-ball-sized mass”.
Jim Basinger, a scientist from USask, said it was an “extremely rare find and by far the best-preserved dinosaur stomach ever found to date”.
He continued: “When people see this stunning fossil and are told that we know what its last meal was because its stomach was so well preserved inside the skeleton, it will almost bring the beast back to life for them, providing a glimpse of how the animal actually carried out its daily activities, where it lived, and what its preferred food was.”
According to Newsweek, the researchers found that the dinosaur’s final meals were “composed almost entirely of ferns”, which helped give a greater analysis of herbivores living more than 110 million years ago.
Fellow researcher David Greenwood, from Brandon University, explained: “The last meal of our dinosaur was mostly fern leaves — 88 percent chewed leaf material and seven percent stems and twigs.
“When we examined thin sections of the stomach contents under a microscope, we were shocked to see beautifully preserved and concentrated plant material.
“In marine rocks we almost never see such superb preservation of leaves, including the microscopic, spore-producing sporangia of ferns.”
Further study to the stomach showed the dinosaur – which was found in 2011 – chose only certain types of ferns to devour, as opposed to other more common shrubs found in the creature’s environment.
The analysis adds more insight to previous studies of herbivorous dinosaurs, which showed they were likely to have eaten more seeds and twigs.
It has allowed palaeontologists to finally prove what these types of dinosaurs had eaten, as opposed to relying on the Extinct Creature bone structure.
Royal Tyrrell Museum palaeontologist Caleb Brown added: “This new study changes what we know about the diet of large herbivorous dinosaurs.
Our findings are also remarkable for what they can tell us about the animal’s interaction with its environment, details we don’t usually get just from the dinosaur skeleton.
“There is considerable charcoal in the stomach from burnt plant fragments, indicating that the animal was browsing in a recently burned area and was taking advantage of a recent fire and the flush of ferns that frequently emerges on a burned landscape.
“This adaptation to a fire ecology is new information.
“Like large herbivores alive today such as moose and deer, and elephants in Africa, these nodosaurs by their feeding would have shaped the vegetation on the landscape, possibly maintaining more open areas by their grazing.”
This news was originally published at express.co.uk