Evidence of Dinosaurs Feeding

Researchers from South Korea claim to have found the longest and deepest tooth marks left by a carnivorous dinosaur in the fossilised bones of a plant-eating dinosaur.  The scientists have postulated that the deep grooves cut into the fossil bone by the as yet unidentified meat-eater are evidence of carcase scavenging.

Dinosaurs Feeding

The researchers say they have found the world’s longest and deepest carnivorous dinosaur tooth-marks ever documented in Hadong, South Gyeongsang Province, a location rich in Cretaceous strata and one that has already revealed a number of new dinosaur discoveries.  The team led by Professor Paik In-sung (Professor of Sedimentary Geology at the Dept. of Environmental Geosciences at Pukyong National University), have published an analysis of the deep marks left in a caudal vertebra of a large titanosaur known as Pukyongosaurus.

A Scale Drawing of a Huge Titanosaur

Illustration of a giant titanosaur.

Huge Dinosaurs – Titanosaurids.  Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view models and replicas of titanosaurid dinosaurs: Models of Titanosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals.

The pictures that have been released show the deep grooves and scratches made in the fossilised tail bone of a herbivorous dinosaur by an unknown genus of theropod, the picture on the right is an enlargement showing the feeding marks in more detail.

The tooth-marks measure 17 centimetres in length, 2 centimetres wide and up to 1.5 centimetres deep, which is the longest and deepest known in the Dinosauria fossil record, Professor Paik stated.  Although it cannot be proved either way, it is unlikely the teeth marks were made as the predator attacked the titanosaur.  It is more likely that these marks were left when a theropod scavenged the carcase, certainly, the corpse of such a large animal would have attracted scavengers from miles around to feed on the remains.

The evidence of dinosaur feeding was discovered in late 2008, but the research into the feeding behaviour of dinosaurs was only completed recently, leading to the publication of a scientific paper.

Professor Paik added:

“These tooth-marks provide insight into the feeding behaviour of dinosaurs that scavenged the bodies of large, adult dinosaurs.”

Lobbyists are trying to get parts of the geology of South Korea granted UNESCO World Heritage status, so as to gain formal recognition for the extensive fossil rich strata.

To read further about this topic: Attempting to Gain UNESCO World Heritage Status.