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Archive for October 16th, 2010

T-Rex NO Different to Homo Economicus

Posted by feww on October 16, 2010

Tyrannosaurus Rex May Have Been Cannibals Like the Homo Economicus

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The marks are interpreted as feeding traces and these fossils therefore record instances of cannibalism. Given that this behavior has a low preservation potential, cannibalism seems to have been a surprisingly common behavior in Tyrannosaurus, and this behavior may have been relatively common in carnivorous dinosaurs.

“They’re the kind of marks that any big carnivore could have made, but T. rex was the only big carnivore in western North America 65 million years ago.”

Citation: Longrich NR, Horner JR, Erickson GM, Currie PJ (2010) Cannibalism in Tyrannosaurus rex. PLoS ONE 5(10): e13419. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013419

Tyrannosaurus rex

“The tyrannosaurids are a highly specialized group of carnivorous dinosaurs characterized by massive skulls, elongate hindlimbs, and highly reduced, didactyl forelimbs [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]. During the Late Cretaceous, they were the dominant large carnivores in North America and Asia [4], [5], with Tyrannosaurus rex being the last and the largest known member of the Tyrannosauridae.”

Figure 1.
Tooth marks made by Tyrannosaurus rex.

A, hadrosaurid metatarsal (UCMP uncatalogued) and closeup of tooth marks on distal articular surface. B, fragment of hadrosaurid pubis (CM 105) showing tooth marks on prepubic process. C, ceratopsid? frill element (TMP 1998.102.2) showing tooth mark. D, Triceratops right squamosal (YPM 53263) showing tooth marks on edge.


Figure 2.
Tyrannosaurus rex bones bearing tooth marks made by Tyrannosaurus rex.

A1, A2: UCMP 137538, pedal phalanx in dorsal view. B1, B2: Pedal phalanx, MOR 1126, dorsal view. C1, C2, Humerus of MOR 902 in caudal view. D1, D2 metatarsal III of T. rex MOR 1602, medial view.


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