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How did T. rex hunt with such tiny arms ?


Posted on Friday, 18 April, 2014 | Comment icon 25 comments


T. rex had disproportionately small arms. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 David Monniaux

The huge carnivore might have had a ferocious set of teeth but its arms were less than impressive.

The spindly little arms of the tyrant lizard are as much an oddity as they are an enigma. Standing up to 13ft tall and 40ft in length, this predatory behemoth would have been practically unrivaled during the late Cretaceous and was one of the largest land carnivores to ever walk the Earth.

Now scientists attempting to unravel the mystery of its disproportionately tiny arms have discovered that it probably didn't actually need them to hunt at all because its powerful neck and head by themselves represented such a deadly combination.

"Tyrannosaurs didn't need big arms to hunt, because their powerful bites and hyper-bulldog necks did the job," said Eric Snively of the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. "From the shoulders forward, T. rex was like a whole killer whale: just bite, shake and twist."

   
Source: New Scientist | Comments (25)

Tags: Dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus rex


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #16 Posted by Duchess Gummybuns on 18 April, 2014, 21:35
Must..not..make...tiny arm joke...
Comment icon #17 Posted by Kenemet on 18 April, 2014, 21:46
There were undoubtedly insectovores... but remember that dinosaurs preserve poorly, and tiny ones are usually a meal for another animal.
Comment icon #18 Posted by third_eye on 18 April, 2014, 23:23
But a lot of the insects of those days that we know of now were not 'tiny' ~ in fact ... far from small even ~
Comment icon #19 Posted by Rogue Suga on 19 April, 2014, 0:23
Alvarezsaurus ate ants.
Comment icon #20 Posted by ancient astronaut on 19 April, 2014, 0:36
They used crossbows.
Comment icon #21 Posted by DigitalDreamer on 19 April, 2014, 1:39
Aside from the eye sore of an avatar,your comment made me chuckle
Comment icon #22 Posted by ancient astronaut on 19 April, 2014, 1:46
Dude, What's with the avatar fetish???????
Comment icon #23 Posted by Twin on 20 April, 2014, 22:59
I think they used them for toothpicks.
Comment icon #24 Posted by SecretAgentMathew on 21 April, 2014, 6:33
They look like walking crocodiles
Comment icon #25 Posted by Peter B on 21 April, 2014, 12:02
Probably unlikely. In broad terms the anatomy of all land-living vertebrates is similar - think of a bone in your body and you can usually find its equivalent in most other animals. Look at the reconstruction of T-Rex in this picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tyrannosaurus_Rex_Holotype.jpg and you can see its arms have a humerus (upper arm) joined to the shoulder and elbow, a radius and ulna which appear to be fused (lower arm), a wrist, and a hand with two fingers/claws. In other words, broadly the same as us and other vertebrates. Yes, there may have been something extra beyond ... [More]


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