An ancient, dolphin-like reptile called an ichthyosaur may have died from overeating. A bulge in the belly of this fossilized creature (pictured) contains the remains of a reptile called a thalattosaur, which was nearly as long as the ichthyosaur itself.
Examination of the fossil of an ichthyosaur that lived more than 240 million years ago reveals that its last meal was a thalattosaur that was almost as long as it was, surprising scientists who thought the marine reptile ate smaller prey because of its blunt teeth. “Now we have really solid evidence saying these [blunt] teeth can be used to eat something big,” says Ryosuke Motani, an author of the study published in iScience.
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