Was Doris a ferocious predator? How do we know? Investigate the clues to find out...

Evidence

Bite force

How mighty was Doris’ bite?

N = Newtons

Bite force meter:

You 749 N
Lion 4,169 N
Allosaurus 8,724 N
Saltwater Crocodile 16,414 N
Great white shark 18,216 N
Pliosaurus 48,728 N
Trex 57,158 N
Winner Megalodon 182,201 N

If an elephant sat on you, this is the same force as a Pliosaurus’ bite. Ouch! Doris the Pliosaurus had one of the strongest bites ever recorded. The great white shark has the strongest bite of any animal living today and Pliosaurus’ bite was 2.7 times the force of a great white shark bite.

Teeth

Doris’ teeth were her toolkit for eating. What clues do they give you about her favourite type of food?

Pliosaurus

Pliosaurus carpenteri

Toolkit teeth = top predator

Cd6172

Crocodile

Ridged teeth = flesh stabber

Ad5640

Gharial

Gavialis gangeticus

Hooked teeth = prey grabber

Ad5644

False killer whale

Pseudorca crassidens

Smashed teeth = bone cruncher

Ag1285

Tiger shark

Galeocerdo cuvier

Serrated teeth = flesh slicer

Ad4663

Pliosaurus

Crocodile

Gharial

False killer whale

Tiger shark

Fossil food

Which creatures have been discovered inside pliosaur fossils?

1
2
3

Turtle

This is a fossil of a turtle rib. Fossils of this creature were found inside a pliosaur in Australia: Kronosaurus queenslandicus

Cf657 – Turtle fossil

Dinosaur

This piece of dinosaur armour was found inside a pliosaur on display in the Sea Dragons Gallery.

Cc332j – Dinosaur scute

Belemnite

Hooks from the tentacles of this creature have been found inside quite a few pliosaurs!

Ca5240 – Squid-like Belemnotheutis

Fossil poo ????

Fossil poo can give you a clue to what extinct animals ate. It's tricky to tell whose poo this is.

Look closely at the fossil poo. Can you see any evidence of what might have been on the menu?

Have you ever spotted evidence of something you’ve been eating in your poo?

What do you call a palaeontologist who studies fossil poo?
A ‘poo’-laeontologist!