Bite traces on dicynodont bones and the early evolution of large terrestrial predators
Article first published online: 3 AUG 2010
© 2010 The Authors, Journal compilation © 2010 The Lethaia Foundation
Volume 44, Issue 1, pages 87–92, March 2011
How to Cite
NIEDŹWIEDZKI, G., GORZELAK, P. and SULEJ, T. (2011), Bite traces on dicynodont bones and the early evolution of large terrestrial predators. Lethaia, 44: 87–92. doi: 10.1111/j.1502-3931.2010.00227.x
- Issue published online: 2 FEB 2011
- Article first published online: 3 AUG 2010
Niedźwiedzki, G., Gorzelak, P. & Sulej, T. 2010: Bite traces on dicynodont bones and the early evolution of large terrestrial predators. Lethaia, Vol. 44, pp. 87–92.
Dicynodont (Synapsida: Anomodontia) bones from the Late Triassic (late Norian/early Rhaetian) of Poland yield characteristic tooth marks that can be attributed to three ichnotaxa (Linichnus serratus, Knethichnus parallelum and Nihilichnus nihilicus). The general shape and dimension of these traces perfectly match the dental morphology of a co-occurring carnivorous dinosaur. It is therefore concluded that early carnivorous dinosaurs were feeding on dicynodonts. This discovery constitutes one of the oldest evidence of dinosaur predator–prey interaction. It is suggested that an evolutionary increase in the size of dicynodonts across the Late Triassic may have been driven by selection pressure to reach a size refuge from early dinosaur predators. □Bite traces, dicynodonts, dinosaurs, predation, Triassic.