We know now that the T-Rex was a fearsome predator and a cannibal when it lived, which means that it was the scourge of its own kind, as well as other species of dinosaurs.
- The bone found was dated back 66 million years ago (Late Cretaceous), belonging to a T-Rex
- It presented with perpendicular teeth marks, found when stripping flesh from bone
- The serrated shape, large size, and depth indicated that it was gnawed on by another T-Rex
- It confirmed a theory from 2010 that the T-Rex was a cannibal
Researchers at the Geological Society of America (GSA) have made an exceptional discovery to fuel previous theories. They unearthed a bone from Wyoming’s Lance Formation, a place that has been found littered with fossils of two species: the Tyrannosaurus rex and Nanotyrannus lancensis. That zeroed in on the possibilities of its source.
The bone was dated back to the late Cretaceous Period, around 66 million years ago. It presented itself with odd grooves, and it was broken on both ends. It’s a similar aspect that appears in bones that have been gnawed on. However, given its origin and location where it was found, the conclusion of cannibalism was drawn.
The bone belonged to a T-Rex, and had been munched on by another T-Rex. The indentation showed clear signs of large, serrated teeth, that instantly ruled out the option of crocodiles. It was something much larger, and likely a theropod. According to paleontologist Matthew McLain, it “has to be a tyrannosaurus”.
Further analysis showed that the grooves were perpendicular, indicating the process of stripping flesh from the bone. It’s how numerous predators do it when eating meat, including humans. The manner alone hinted at the fact that the animal was dead at the time the other one came along. And then, the feasting began.
There was no animal living in that location and time period that would’ve presented with the same distinctive features as the T-Rex. The serrated teeth, their size, and sheer strength of the bite was a clear indication that the dead dinosaur had become prey to one of its own species. This has introduced an interesting new confirmation to an old theory.
It was suggested before, in 2010, by Nicholas Longrich, that the T-Rex was a cannibal. Longrich and his team found four similar bones to the ones in the Lance Formation. The divots, depth, and their aspect were undoubtedly done by a tyrannosaurus. It means that the T-Rex has little to no preference as to what it ate.
Everything and anything was on the menu, including their own kind.
However, the researchers will require further study to determine whether the T-Rex was the killer or just a passing scavenger. They were known as formidable predators and vicious hunters. Perhaps it sometimes happened to purposefully hunt down their own species.
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