Tyrannosarus Rex Was a Cannibal

By on October 15, 2010

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FRIDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) As if it weren’t fearsome enough already, Tyrannosaurus rex had yet another disagreeable trait, a new study claims.

It was a cannibal.

A Yale University paleontologist who examined a few dozen T. rex bones in a number of museum fossil collections found three foot bones and one arm bone that showed evidence of T. rex bite marks.

“It’s surprising how frequent it appears to have been. We’re not exactly sure what that means,” Nick Longrich said in a Yale news release.

The tooth marks on the bones are the result of feeding, but it’s not clear whether this was the result of scavenging or one T. rex feeding on another after a fight to the death.

“Modern big carnivores do this all the time. It’s a convenient way to take out the competition and get a bit of food at the same time,” Longrich said.

The finding helps improve understanding of T. rex eating habits. Although today’s large carnivores often hunt together in packs, these dinosaurs appeared to hunt on their own, Longrich said.

“These animals were some of the largest terrestrial carnivores of all time, and the way they approached eating was fundamentally different from modern species. There’s a big mystery around what and how they ate, and this research helps to uncover one piece of the puzzle,” Longrich said.

The study appears online Oct. 15 in the journal PLoS One.

More information

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has more about T. rex.

Source: HealthDay

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