Fossil of fish that died eating its prey

Fossil of fish that died eating its prey

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Credit: PETER MENZEL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Prehistoric demonstration of the phrase 'biting off more than one can chew'. This fossil shows a large fish that apparently died whilst trying to eat a smaller one. The jaws of the predator are very wide open (left), with the tail of its prey still visible. It is possible that the larger fish was unable to swallow its prey, blocking the free flow of water through the predator's gills and causing it to 'suffocate'. This rare example was photographed at a fossil fair in Tuscon, Arizona, where it would have commanded a price of tens of thousands of dollars.

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Keywords: animal, animals, fish, fossil, fossil fish, fossil vertebrate, fossils, palaeontology, paleontology, predator, vertebrates

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