Article: The gastric contents of an ichthyosaur from the Lower Lias of Lyme Regis, Dorset
The partial skeleton of a small ichthyosaur associated with the gastric mass is described from the Lower Lias of Lyme Regis. The gastric mass was oval in shape and composed of minute dibranchiate cephalopod booklets in random orientation. Four distinct types of booklet are recognized in these gastric contents.Examination of published records and museum specimens suggests that gastric contents composed of cephalopod remains are more commonly preserved than those of fish remains. A study of ichthyosaur coprolites shows a predominance of defecated fish remains and an absence of booklets from these structures. The diet, mode of feeding, and digestive mechanism of Liassic ichthyosaurs, in comparison with a teuthophagous cetacean, the sperm whale, are considered.