Millions of Years Old Marine Reptile Dies after Eating a Similar Creature

Who said that large and horrifying beasts are only devouring smaller and defenseless creatures? Nature once again proves to us that it can defy the standard unfolding of events. A giant reptile known as an ichthyosaur had eaten a creature that was about the same size. It happened hundreds of millions of years ago. However, it was the last meal in the life of the ichthyosaur.

The discovery belongs to a team of paleontologists who were searching within a quarry from southwestern China. They published their finding in iScience.

Another thalattosaur bit the dust

A lizard-like aquatic reptile known as a thalattosaur was the meal of the ichthyosaur. Oddly enough, the victim was found undigested. The inevitable conclusion of the researchers involved was that the ichthyosaur was probably a megapredator. The hunting reptile measured about five-meter (16-foot) long.

Ryosuke Motani, co-author of the study and a paleobiologist at the University of California, Davis, declared:

“The most likely cause of death is the neck breakage, which likely prevented the predator from breathing,”

However, he admits that there’s no such thing as 100% certainty in this case:

“The interpretation of the death process involves speculation, because nobody was there filming it for us.”

Scientists believe that the ancient marine creature died shortly after eating its prey due to the fact that the ichthyosaur’s stomach contents weren’t very digested by acid.

Motani also declared:

“At first, we just didn’t believe it, but after spending several years visiting the dig site and looking at the same specimens, we finally were able to swallow what we were seeing,”

What the ichthyosaur experienced is new proof that we all should be a lot more careful while trying to ingest our food. The marine reptile literally died because it wanted to eat more than its organism could handle.