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Archaeological evidence suggests that ancient sharks were flying out of the water to attack pterosaurs

A team of researchers at the University of Southern California discovered a fossil of a pterosaur with a shark tooth inserted into the neck vertebra while studying bone at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. They think this is the result of a shark two meters long walking off the surface of the water to attack a creature called a much larger dragon with a wingspan of 5.5 meters.

At the end of the Cretaceous, 85 million years ago, as the sun began to set west and gradually shone golden sunlight on the surface of the sea, a large group of toothless pterosaurs was flying along the horizon in search of for prey. And this is also the time when ancient fishes began to descend to the surface of the sea.

Archaeological evidence suggests that ancient sharks were flying out of the water to attack pterosaurs | Live

Pterizards (Pterizards) have seized the opportunity and lowered their flight altitude over and over again. They almost fly is at sea. As they walk past the fish, the toothless lizard plugs its slender and stiff horn beak into the water to bite the small fish.

After catching a lot of fish, a toothless lizard once again fell to a height just 1 meter above the sea. It suddenly saw a shadow below the water surface approaching at high speed. And right after that a prehistoric shark flew out of the water and bit the neck of the toothless lizard and pulled it to the bottom of the sea. Everything happens so fast, other toothless lizards don’t even see what’s going on.

Archaeological evidence suggests that ancient sharks were flying out of the water to attack pterosaurs | Live

P terizard are pterosaurs that flourished during the Mesozoic era. It appeared at the end of the Triassic, ending extinction in the late Cretaceous. Representative examples are Ranforinks, Pteranodon, etc. The sketch of these creatures looks like a bird, but the head is bigger than the body. The fourth finger of the foreleg extends very long and creates a sharp nose with the hind limbs and forms a flying organ similar to the bat wing. The first to third fingers degenerate into small hooks.

The toothless lizard is pulled into the sea by the ancient shark (Cretoxyrhina) who has no chance of escaping, its neck bitten, and its body swaying weakly in the water. It is not pain and blood loss that kills the toothless lizard, but suffocates it. The ancient shark wanted to relax its prey, but a tooth got stuck on the neck of the Pterizard. It twisted its head to the sides and finally removed the lizard’s body from its mouth, but the price was a tooth.

When the ancient shark swam around and came back to eat the toothless lizard, it suddenly felt that this prey was not worth eating, so it swam away. The toothless lizard sinks to the bottom of the sea and the corpses are quickly covered with sediments on the sea floor.

After tens of thousands of years of geological activity, the bones of Pterizards became fossils and were discovered by paleontologists. The fossils of teeth embedded in the cervical spine show the cause of death, and also tell us what date this happened.

The story was restored by paleontologists and explained the existence of this fossil. The fossil record number is LACM 50926, which is the fossil of the Pterizard. Fossils are currently on display in the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. Fossils are found in Logan County, Kansas, United States and belong to the Niobara Formation.

Archaeological evidence suggests that ancient sharks were flying out of the water to attack pterosaurs | Live

The fossil revealed a pterosaur that had been grabbed by a shark and a neck, leaving a tooth plugged into its neck. It can be seen that the attack occurred when the pterosaur was at its most vulnerable moment. It is spreading its wings and flying close to the surface of the water. According to Michael Habib, research assistant at the Natural History Museum, although winged lizards can land and take off from the water, they are quite clumsy and take a long time to fly.

Archaeological evidence suggests that ancient sharks were flying out of the water to attack pterosaurs | Live

Paleontologists have discovered thousands of toothless Pterizard fossils in the United States, but this one, numbered LACM 50926, is very different from the rest of the fossils because of a shark tooth embedded. on its fourth neck vertebrae. The teeth belong to a ferocious Cretoxyrhina shark living in the Cretaceous ocean. Based on the fossil of the Pterizard’s spine with shark teeth embedded in it, paleontologists speculate that the creature was unlucky enough to be suddenly bitten by a shark and pulled into the ocean while flying. at low altitude above sea level.

Archaeological evidence suggests that ancient sharks were flying out of the water to attack pterosaurs | Live

The tooth belongs to the ancient shark Cretoxyrhina mantelli, a popular shark living at the same time with winged lizards. ÚngThey are large, fast and strong, about 2.4 meters long, shaped and behaving quite similar to today’s large white carp although they are not related. This is the first time the interaction between this species and the winged lizard has been recorded. Fossils were excavated in the 1960s in the ởmoky Hill Chalk area of ​​Kansas State, USA, which was once a part of the vast inland sea at the end of the Cretaceous.

Archaeological evidence suggests that ancient sharks were flying out of the water to attack pterosaurs | Live

[ Æsir Tales ]
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