A Cat of Tindalos

A Cat of Tindalos

Sunday, November 1, 2015

T-Rex: As if they weren't scary enough

A tyrannosaur bone uncovered in Wyoming’s Lance Formation, broken at both ends, was covered in “very deep groves”, paleontologist Matthew McLain of Loma Linda University said in a release. In 2010, other tyrannosaur bones were found with marks that could only have been made by another large, carnivorous dinosaur, with the tyrannosaurs being the only species of that type in the area.

The scientists say, a newly uncovered T-rex bone fossils researchings shows to a 66-million-year-old tyrannosaurus dinosaur suggests that one of the most ferocious creatures to walk the earth were cannibalistic, .

Paleontologist Matthew McLain from Loma Linda University in California, United States said in a statement that they were out in Wyoming and were carrying out excavation in the Lance Formation.

“It’s exciting that we are able to learn so much from just a broken bone with a few scratches on it. A century ago, people would have found this and just chucked it”, he said. It was covered in grooves.

The grooves clearly suggest that a few animal pulled the flesh off the bone. Researchers also noticed that the groove was located at the larger end, also it had several smaller parallel grooves near the larger one which could only be caused by the diner’s head turning when serrated edges of teeth moved across the bone.

Those serrated teeth mean the animal eating the tyrannosaur was most likely another theropod dinosaur, “and the width of the larger grooves suggests the traces were made by a tyrannosaur”, researchers write.

The fact that the only large theropods found in the Lance Formation are two tyrannosaurs Tyrannosaurus rex or Nanotyrannus lancensis – eliminates all interpretations but cannibalism, McLain explained.

“This has to be a tyrannosaur”, McLain.

 Source: Science & Nature magazine

New evidence that will be presented at Geological Society of America in Baltimore on November 1 suggests the T-Rex was a cannibal.

While examining the grooves, researchers observed that the mark was obtained while pulling the flesh off the bone.

McLain said: “Exactly who did the eating that day, in the Late Cretaceous, could still be sorted out by the same grooves”.

This approach has been used on tyrannosaurs, and McLain thinks it will work in this case, too. “And since tyrannosauruses are the only large predators in these formations, it’s pretty straightforward”. “We can now say, ‘we know what animal this came from, we know what animal was doing the biting.’ It gives us hints as to what they were up to, what their diet was – we can understand their biology more”.

It isn’t the first time that researchers have pointed towards cannibal instinct in T-Rex. They would eat their own kind.

The hunting is going to be better if you eat the other hunters.

Source: Science and Nature Magazine

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