First fossil depicting 290 million years old food chain discovered

November 14th, 2007 - 10:20 am ICT by admin  

The new fossil discovery has the preserved remains of a fish, which was eaten by an amphibian, which was then eaten by a shark. Thus, it provides the first ever snapshot of an ancient, three-level, vertebrate food chain.

The fossilized trio lived 290 million years ago in the shallow coastal waters of a freshwater lake in the Saar-Nahe Basin of southwestern Germany. The lake had previously been linked to the sea but was landlocked for millions of years before the three animals lived and died.

An animal’s last meal is very rarely preserved, because corrosive acids quickly erupt from the decaying stomach, dissolving any food remnants before fossilization can take place.

“But in this case, the shark didn’t just die and sink down and decompose,” National Geographic News quoted J

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