Naturwissenschaften

, 93:444

Food remains in Confuciusornis sanctus suggest a fish diet

  • J. Dalsätt
  • Z. Zhou
  • F. Zhang
  • P. G. P. Ericson
Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s00114-006-0125-y

Cite this article as:
Dalsätt, J., Zhou, Z., Zhang, F. et al. Naturwissenschaften (2006) 93: 444. doi:10.1007/s00114-006-0125-y

Abstract

Despite hundreds of excellent fossils of Confuciusornis, the most abundant group of birds in the Early Cretaceous, ‘Jehol Biota’ in China, there is yet no indication of the food choice of these birds. Here, we describe fish remains preserved in the alimentary system of a specimen of Confuciusornis sanctus from the Jiufotang Formation. This find is about five million years younger than all previously published confuciusornithid birds from the Yixian Formation. Although it is unknown how common fish was in the diet of Confuciusornis, the find does not support previous hypotheses that it fed on plants or grain.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Dalsätt
    • 1
    • 2
  • Z. Zhou
    • 3
  • F. Zhang
    • 3
  • P. G. P. Ericson
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Geology and GeochemistryUniversity of StockholmStockholm,Sweden
  2. 2.Department of Vertebrate ZoologySwedish Museum of Natural HistoryStockholm,Sweden
  3. 3.Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and PaleoanthropologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Department of Vertebrate ZoologySwedish Museum of Natural HistoryStockholm,Sweden