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Palaeontology

Plant-eating dinosaurs sometimes ate crabs

By T.K. Randall
September 24, 2017 · Comment icon 6 comments



Hadrosaurs may have dined on crabs as well as on plants. Image Credit: Heinrich Harder
Fossilized droppings have revealed that some herbivorous dinosaurs occasionally snacked on seafood.
In the lush environment of the Cretaceous, plant-eating dinosaurs would have usually had more than enough to eat, but now a fascinating fossil unearthed in Utah has revealed that some stringently herbivorous dinosaurs may have sometimes supplemented their diets with crabs and crayfish.

"It's a very unusual case of an herbivorous dinosaur supplementing its diet with something else," said palaeontologist Paul Barrett from the Natural History Museum in London.
Dating back 75 million years, the fossil dung was likely from a hadrosaur - a type of large duck-billed dinosaur found across Asia, Europe and North America.

It is likely that these animals would have scavenged along prehistoric shorelines for things to eat.

"Hadrosaurs were some of the biggest animals in their ecosystems, so they probably couldn't have afforded to be too selective about what they were eating anyway, lest they starve to death," said Jordan Mallon, a palaeontologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

Source: Scientific American | Comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Black Monk 5 years ago
So even dinosaurs thought being vegetarian is a bit whacky.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Jon the frog 5 years ago
Geese and duck do the same when they found a frog a crayfish or anything that can fit in, free protein! Have seen dairy cow eating kitten if they pass in their enclosure on a farm... and not just once.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot 5 years ago
Well it surely is hard to say it's true for a fact but calcium and egg production surely do have connection. Now it is most likely wrong to compare Dinos and Dogs but see, Dogs do eat grass from time to time - is it because of fiber ( which organisms do need and dog food, mainly meat, do not have fibers†) or for purpose of cleaning their digestive system? I do not know but such behaviour surely is imprinted in them. Is it possible that Dinos too had such genes? I believe it is, even tho i do not know the subject at all but this seems logical.
Comment icon #4 Posted by qxcontinuum 5 years ago
ouch i am sure they had stomach crabs after... like literally
Comment icon #5 Posted by Nostrodumbass 5 years ago
As if crabs didn't have it hard enough already.† Imagine running from a T-Rex towards the herbivores for some support and protection, and then ending up being painfully†gnawed on by a Vegiesaurus with blunt teeth.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Ghost Orchid 5 years ago
What a hoot!!! Lol..


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