An incredible new discovery about dinosaurs suggests that plant-eaters may have snacked on crabs and other crustaceans eons ago.
Think that giant herbivore dinosaurs kept to a strict vegetarian diet? Think again, because new research suggests that they actually snacked on crustaceans, based on new research published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Paleontologists were surprised to find recently after studying fossilized dung from plant-eating dinosaurs that there were bits of animal shell. This may not necessarily indicate that these dinosaurs are not strictly herbivorous for the most part, but it does indicate that there diets were a bit more complex than we may realize.
Dinosaur diets are tough to determine considering the fact that they died out tens of millions of years ago and all we have to go on is the fossilized remains of dung or skeletal clues.
“Some big plant-eating dinosaurs roaming present-day Utah some 75 million years ago were slurping up crustaceans on the side, a behavior that may have been tied to reproductive activities, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study,” reads a statement from the university. “The evidence for the crustacean-chowing dinosaurs comes from fossilized feces samples known as coprolites, said Associate Professor Karen Chin, curator of paleontology at CU Boulder’s Museum of Natural History. Dating to the late Cretaceous Period, the coprolites were discovered in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah by a team from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science who invited Chin out to their dig.”