Neck Bones on the Menu: Fossil vertebrae show species interaction | Science News

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Neck Bones on the Menu: Fossil vertebrae show species interaction

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12:12pm, June 30, 2004

Three fossil neck bones from an ancient flying reptile—one of them with the broken tip of a tooth embedded in it—indicate that the winged creatures occasionally fell victim to meat eaters.

The telltale vertebrae were found within a limestone nodule unearthed from 100-million-year-old sedimentary rocks in northeastern Brazil. Each about 4 centimeters long, the neck bones represent the fourth, fifth, and sixth cervical vertebrae of a pterosaur that would have had nine such bones. The size of the vertebrae suggests that the creature had a wingspan of about 3.3 meters, says Eric Buffetaut, a paleontologist at France's National Center for

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