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New fossil sheds light on dinosaurs' diet

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11:56am, August 28, 2001

Vestiges of soft tissue preserved in a 70-million-year-old Mongolian fossil suggest that some dinosaurs strained small bits of food from the water and mud of streams and ponds, just as modern ducks, geese, and flamingos do.

The remnants of a comblike plate appear inside the beak on the fossil's upper and lower jaw. Individual strands of material, about 5.6 millimeters long, sit about 0.5 mm apart. This type of structure, never before seen on a dinosaur, suggests that the ancient animals had a wider variety of feeding strategies than previously recognized, says Peter J. Makovicky, a vertebrate paleontologist at the Field Museum in Chicago. He and his colleagues describe their find in the Au

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