In the science world it’s been widely speculated, with very little backlash that water bound dinosaurs from prehistoric times, had little interaction with land bound dinosaurs. The theory suggested that while the two fiercely dominated their respective arenas – they would rarely cross paths.
However, thanks to the tooth of a semi-aquatic phytosaur that was lodged within the thigh bone of a rauisuchid, which resided on land suggests otherwise. Even more impressive is that while the land bearing creature was significantly larger, that the semi-aquatic phytosaur didn’t only have the upper-hand, but won the altercation.
The bone was buried about two inches into the bone. Evidence suggested that the body simply healed around the bone, which sat there until the dinosaur’s death. But, don’t think that the death was associated with this attack, or the bone. Those studying the creature and the remains also suggest that the dinosaur lived normally after the attack, and after it had won the battle.
Stephanie Drumheller, from Virginia Tech said that the find was “very surprising” and that for a Rausuchid, who were the largest land predator in their environment – this was hardly an expected outcome. Even more bizarre is the fact that they also went on to suggest that the semi-aquatic phytosaurs “targeting and eating these big carnivores.”
The find as a whole was rare, but it also gave the group the unique opportunity to study the tooth inside the bone.
Something that isn’t typically available to study. However, after a long examination process they were able to reveal the fact that there were in fact multiple struggles. Indicators for this particular instance would suggest that the Rauisuchid was attacked twice and survived.
Seeing who was guilty of the first attack was something that was truly unique for these researchers. It wasn’t something that was expected, nor was it something that has been commonly proven. So, this really becomes something that is much larger. This, thanks to what they learned, will provide researchers the opportunity to go back, and further examine, or reexamine cases that would have previously been assumed, or pure assumptions that were made about who was the attacker and who was the victim.
Finally, some hard evidence to show that perhaps the smaller predators on the food chain could have been atop the food chain entirely.