Latest Issue of Science News

cover 3/7

News

An ammonite's last supper

X-ray image of fossil reveals diet of ancient marine animal

By
2:00pm, January 6, 2011

The final meal of an ammonite, one of those extinct marine creatures that feature so prominently at fossil shows, has been revealed by a three-dimensional X-ray analysis of a specimen from South Dakota. The pointy yellow things are the ammonite’s teeth, stripped off a structure called a radula that acts like a tongue to get prey into the animal’s mouth. The teal-colored blob at lower right is the remains of a small shrimplike crustacean, while the purple thing at upper left is a fragment of a larval gastropod.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

More from Science News