Ancient attack marks show ocean predators got scarier

Credit: De Agostini Picture Library/De Agostini/Getty ImagesShells can survive a remarkably long time in the fossil record, such that if a person slurped up several oysters and carefully saved the shells, scientists millions of years into the future might be able to document the ancient meal.   Adiël Klompmaker was struck by a similar idea a few years ago, when he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Florida Museum of Natural History. He was preparing a database of drill holes created by marine predators in shells, and it occurred to him that the shells had untapped potential as “smoking gun” evidence for over 500 million years of marine predator-prey interactions.   He and his colleagues have since conducted a detailed analysis of thousands of such shells, revealing that numerous marine predators have grown steadily larger and more powerful over time, while their preferred prey has remained relatively small. The findings, reported in the journal Science, support what is known as t

Ancient attack marks show ocean predators got scarier

Killer snails and other ocean predators that drill through shells have grown bigger over evolutionary time.

Thu 15 Jun 17 from ScienceNews

Holes drilled in shells point to bigger predators picking on small prey

The drill holes left in fossil shells by hunters such as snails and slugs show marine predators have grown steadily bigger and more powerful over time but stuck to picking off small prey, rather ...

Thu 15 Jun 17 from Phys.org

Holes Drilled in Shells Point to Bigger Predators Picking on Small Prey, Thu 15 Jun 17 from Laboratory Equipment

Drill Holes in Fossil Shells Point to Bigger Predators Picking on Small Prey, Thu 15 Jun 17 from Newswise

Drill holes in fossil shells point to bigger predators picking on small prey, Thu 15 Jun 17 from Eurekalert

New findings support the idea that increasingly powerful animals at the top of the food chain can drive evolutionary trends in their prey.

Credit: De Agostini Picture Library/De Agostini/Getty ImagesShells can survive a remarkably long time in the fossil record, such that if a person slurped up several oysters ...

Thu 15 Jun 17 from Discovery News

Marine predators bulked up over eons to dominate their prey

In the constant evolutionary battle between predator and prey, one seemingly winning strategy is to get bigger over time so you can throw your weight around. Paleontologists from UC Berkeley, ...

Mon 19 Jun 17 from Science Blog

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