The reputation of Tyrannosaurus rex as a predator rather than as a scavenger has been restored.
Palaeontologists had debated in recent years whether the tyrant lizard had actually hunted and killed prey or if it simply scavenged the corpses of already deceased dinosaurs. Now however, new fossil evidence recovered from the Hell Creek Formation in South Dakota has provided a picture of a battle between a T. rex and a plant-eating hadrosaur which left one of the predator's teeth embedded in the creature's spine.
"This is unambiguous evidence that T rex was an active predator," the study authors wrote. "Such evidence is rare in the fossil record for good reason – prey rarely escapes."
"The dinosaur's feeding habits have long been debated by academics, with some claiming that T rex was less a ferocious hunter and more a lumbering slowcoach that scavenged the carcasses of beasts that had died at the claws of others."
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