Science News

Tyrannosaurus Rex Bone Fossils Indicate Cannibalistic Behavior

A new study has determined that the prehistoric super predator, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, may have engaged in cannibalistic meals. An analysis of bite marks on fossilized bones suggests that the T.rex ate its own kind in addition to a long list of other prey.

The evidence, a chewed on T.rex bone from 66 million years ago, will be presented Monday the annual Geological Society of America meeting in Baltimore, Maryland reports National Geographic.

The scratches on the bone were made by large serrated teeth. Study leader Matthew McLain claims that the only creature alive then that could have made such marks was another T.rex.

According to Mirror Daily, the bone was found in Lance Formation, Wyoming. The bone was broken at both ends and had deep gashes consistent with a large predator tearing flesh from bone. There are also small parallel gouges on one end which indicates that the predator would have turned its head while eating. The only two creatures alive that usually turned their heads to rip meat from a carcass were the crocodile and the T.rex. A crocodile wouldn’t be able to down a T.rex so evidence points to cannibalism.

This isn’t the first time that T.rex has been shown to eat its own kind. In 2010 four other T.rex bone samples were shown to have marks consistent with a T.rex attack.

It has also been debated whether T.rex hunted its meat or was a scavenger. Many bite marks have been found on animals that were already dead but there are a few cases of healed bite wounds on the backs of Edmontosaurus fossils. There was even a Edmontosaurus bone with a piece of a T.rex tooth lodged inside. This shows that the dinosaur was able to escape its predator and that the T.rex has been pursuing it.

A study conducted in 2012 investigated the bite forces of prehistoric predators and estimated the force of a T.rex bite at about 57,000 newtons or 12,800 pounds. That amount of force could tear through a large dinosaur such as a Triceratops or another T.rex.

Click to comment
To Top

Hi - Get Important Content Like This Delivered Directly To You

Get important content and more delivered to you once or twice a week.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.