General, Research, Technology

Scientists have studied the contents of the stomach of a dinosaur - it is very well preserved

In 2011, while working on one of the Canadianmines, scientists have found the remains of a herbivorous dinosaur species Borealopelta markmitchelli. This find is worthy of our attention, because earlier the researchers could not dig out such a well-preserved body of a dinosaur. The remains were accidentally crushed by an excavator bucket, but despite the damage and age over 110 million years, they still look good. Inside the dinosaur, scientists found the remains of food eaten - this is a rarity in the study of ancient creatures. In the course of their study, scientists were able to answer a number of interesting questions, including the exact diet of herbivores of ancient times and the time of death.

This is how the Borealopelta markmitchelli looked in the artist's view

New dinosaur

According to New Atlas, a herbivorous dinosaurBorealopelta markmitchelli is a relatively new species to science. It was named after Mark Mitchell, an employee of the Royal Tyrrel Museum of Paleontology, who for five years cleared the remains of dirt. The new dinosaur belongs to the Nodosaurus family, which were rather awkward creatures with armor on their backs. Their body length was about six meters, and their weight reached 2.5 tons.

Nodosaurids were protected by spiked armor

As for the dinosaur stored in the museum, the masshis body was about 1.3 tons. Judging by the well-preserved contents of the stomach the size of a soccer ball, about a hundred million years ago an armored creature walked around the burned forest, ate a fern and, for unknown reasons, died. The body of an ancient animal quickly found itself in the sea and became covered with bottom sediments, which protected it from destruction for hundreds of millions of years.

What did dinosaurs eat?

According to geologist Jim Basinger (JimBasinger), which studies the structure and development of our planet, the stomach extracted from the body of the nodosaurus turned out to be the best preserved ever found. Previously, scientists managed to find the remains of the plants they had eaten in the dinosaur insides, but it was impossible to determine their appearance. In the case of the nodosaurus, there was no such problem - scientists studied plant materials and announced that the herbivore creature predominantly fed on ferns.

The skull of the dinosaur Borealopelta markmitchelli, which is stored in the museum.

Traces of moss and moss were found in the dinosaur’s stomach.even flowers. But the creature had a special love for different types of ferns - about 88% of the volume of the stomach was filled with leaves and about 7% with branches. The dinosaur was especially fond of ferns from the subclass Polypodiidae, which includes many current plants. At the same time, the armored fickle did not like conifers, which millions of years ago grew in large numbers.

Ferns have been a treat for many herbivorous dinosaurs.

Another interesting find inside a dinosaur istouring. The so-called stones that are swallowed by herbivores with underdeveloped teeth. If you kept parrots or other birds at home, you know very well that next to the feeder they should have a container with small pebbles. Once inside the birds, they help them grind food - they have no teeth. Most likely, the discovered representative of the nodosaurids had few teeth or were missing at all. So he had to eat stones.

Touring in the remains of a dead animal (not the dinosaur Borealopelta markmitchelli)

According to biologist David Greenwood (DavidGreenwood), charcoal traces have also been found in the dinosaur’s stomach. Probably, it got there with food, that is, an ancient creature ate on the spot where the fire had recently passed. This place attracted his attention for a reason, because it was the ferns that first burnt the ground. Since fires are more likely to occur in late spring and summer, scientists suggested that the dinosaur died at that time.

See also: Is it possible to determine the sex of a dinosaur by its bones?

But the reason for his death, scientists have not yetthey said. Probably they themselves do not know the answer. The variant that a large predator attacked the herbivorous dinosaur can be rejected for two reasons at once. Firstly, bite marks would clearly remain on his bones - scientists would hardly be silent about this. Secondly, the body of the dinosaur was covered with armor and, possibly, sharp spikes. Hardly anyone would dare to attack such a “hedgehog”.

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In general, Canada is a real storehouse of remainsancient creatures. Not so long ago I wrote about a new dinosaur, which was more dangerous than tyrannosaurs from the movie "Jurassic Park." Read to the end? Then I invite you to get acquainted with the dinosaur, which could eat anyone.