Data from: Bone-eating Osedax worms lived on Mesozoic marine reptile deadfalls

Silvia Danise & Nicholas D. Higgs
We report fossil traces of Osedax, a genus of siboglinid annelids that consume the skeletons of sunken vertebrates on the ocean floor, from early-Late Cretaceous (approx. 100 Myr) plesiosaur and sea turtle bones. Although plesiosaurs went extinct at the end-Cretaceous mass extinction (66 Myr), chelonioids survived the event and diversified, and thus provided sustenance for Osedax in the 20 Myr gap preceding the radiation of cetaceans, their main modern food source. This finding shows that...
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