This animal has apparently bitten the marine mammal, and quite vigorously. Nevertheless, the attack can not be considered successful, because the whale has the bite? at least first of all? Survived: Almost everywhere on the rib fragment, a thin layer of so-called woven bone can be seen. This is a fairly soft, immature form of bone tissue that typically forms when there is an infection somewhere in the immediate vicinity of the bone. Although the bite wound obviously began to heal, it seems to have become inflamed, the researchers interpret this finding. This assumption is also supported by typical inflammatory features in the bone marrow.
Long has the whale not survived the injury? a maximum of two to six weeks, the scientists estimate. Had he lived longer, a reconstruction of the woven bone would have to use hard bone tissue. Whether the wound and the infection were indeed the cause of death can not be said today. It is quite possible that the whale has died for a completely different reason, so the researchers. However, it is remarkable how much the bones tell about the behavior of prehistoric animals. "Only a handful of fossils show this kind of interaction, " says Stephen Godfrey of the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, who discovered the rib fragment. Although there are many bite marks on fossils, most came from scavengers who would have gnawed at the bones after the death of the animal. "This fossil is one of very few examples with an injury that can be clearly attributed to another animal, but also clearly shows that the victim survived the event."Robert Kallal (Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons) et al .: International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, online pre-publication, doi: 10.1002 / oa.1199 © wissenschaft.de? Ilka Lehnen-Beyel advertisement