In southeast Utah, paleontologists discovered 150-million-year-old fossilized vomit that offers new insight about Jurassic ecosystems. While surveying the Morrison Formation, a famous paleontological site, the team came across an odd pile of amphibian bones (including ones that were only 0.12 inches long) and regurgitalite (the fossilized form of vomit). Scientists suspect that a bowfin fish is likely behind the puke, as they were not only in existence during that time, but also have a tendency to vomit while being pursued by a predator. “There were three animals that we still have around today, interacting in ways also known today among those animals—prey eaten by predators and predators perhaps chased by other predators. That itself shows how similar some ancient ecosystems were to places on Earth today,” says John Foster, curator of the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum and one of the co-authors of the study. Learn more about the rare find at KSL.
Image courtesy of Brian Engh/Utah Division of State Parks