A velociraptor dinosaur’s last meal may have been a much larger flying reptile more than 75 million years ago, according to evidence from the discovery of a pterosaur bone in the stomach of the skeletal remains of a velociraptor mongolieniss, reports CBS News
The pterosaur fossil found inside the velociraptor mongolieniss was discovered in 1994, but is being fully analyzed just now.
The pterosaur may have been dead before the velociraptor ingested it, the new study suggests.
“It would be difficult and probably even dangerous for the small theropod dinosaur to target a pterosaur with a wingspan of [6.5 feet] or more unless the pterosaur was already ill or injured. So the pterosaur bone we’ve identified in the gut of the Velociraptor was most likely scavenged from a carcass rather than the result of a predatory kill,” study researcher David Hone said.
The 3-inch pterosaur bone was stuck in the upper part of the velociraptor’s rib cage, where its stomach would have been.
“The surface of the bone is smooth and in good condition, with no unusual traces of marks or deformation that could be attributed to digestive acids. So it’s likely that the Velociraptor itself died not long after ingesting the bone,” Hone said.
The prehistoric mammal lived in what is now Mongolia’s Gobi Desert.
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