Sunday, September 23, 2012

[Paleontology • 2012] Chunerpeton tianyiensis stomach contents • Two Jurassic salamanders with stomach contents from Inner Mongolia, China

Chunerpeton tianyiensis with corixids preserved as stomach contents

Conchostracans and corixids are part of the diet of extant salamanders, an ecologically important fact in a lacustrine environment. Here we report their discovery in the guts of the aquatic Jurassic salamanders Jeholotriton paradoxus and Chunerpeton tianyiensis, formerly abundant at Daohugou, Ningcheng County, Inner Mongolia, China. This reveals something of the ecology of this important, ancient, vertebrate and invertebrate assemblage. The new fossil evidence indicates the highly selective feeding of these Jurassic salamanders; Jeholotriton preyed only on juveniles of the conchostracan Euestheria luanpingensis, and Chunerpeton only on the corixid Yanliaocorixa chinensis. We can infer the dietary differences as a consequence of different jaw and hyoid structures; and thus niche partitioning in Jurassic salamanders.

Key words: Jurassic caudate. Jeholotriton, Chunerpeton, stomach contents, Daohugou, Inner Mongolia     

Li Ping, DONG, Di Ying, HUANG, Yuan, WANG. 2012. Two Jurassic salamanders with stomach contents from Inner Mongolia, China. Chinese Science Bulletin. 57 (1): 72-76. DOI: 10.1007/s11434-011-4729-z