New research on the diet of ichthyosaurs

A new paper, published today in the Journal of Anatomy, utilises fossil ichthyosaur skulls from our Strawberry Bank Lagerstätte collection to demonstrate how two species of marine reptile from that Lower Jurassic Ecosystem had different skull and tooth anatomy suited to separate prey preferences, this means they were not in direct competition for food; able to share the same ecological space, but occupying different dietary niches. Researchers from Univerity of Bristol, University of London, and Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution used computer modeling to demonstrate the effect of differences in cranial morphology and dentition through inferred stresses between the two species, which suggest adaptations for dietary niche partitioning.

Hauffiopteryx typicus (BRLSI M1399), one of the skulls used in the study

Curator's Notes, Science