Dinosaur fossil spills its guts, out come worms
"Fossil evidence for interactions between dinosaurs and invertebrates usually involves insects," said Chin. "This research is exciting because it provides evidence for the movement of tiny, soft-bodied organisms inside the gut cavity of a dinosaur."
Chin and graduate student Justin Tweet are presenting their findings to a meeting in Philadelphia of the Geological Society of America. "Typically a carcass attracts multiple scavengers, and this one was largely undisturbed," Tweet said in a statement. "Since the carcass was apparently buried before it had a chance to fall apart, we think remnant parasites may have been living inside of the animal when it died." Duck-billed dinosaurs were plant-eaters, reaching up to 50 feet long and weighing up to three tons. This fossil, nicknamed "Leonardo", also revealed chewed-up plants in its gut, useful for helping to identify what dinosaurs ate.