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Palaeontology

T. rex tooth found in dinosaur spine

July 17, 2013 | Comment icon 8 comments



Image Credit: David Monniaux
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.


Source: Guardian Unlimited | Comments (8)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Junior Chubb 9 years ago
The return of the king...
Comment icon #2 Posted by Bavarian Raven 9 years ago
Cool find
Comment icon #3 Posted by WelshRed 9 years ago
it could of lost it's tooth feeding on the corpse though, or am I missing something?
Comment icon #4 Posted by DecoNoir 9 years ago
it could of lost it's tooth feeding on the corpse though, or am I missing something? The vertebrae showed signs of bone healing, indicating that this hadrasaur was attacked and managed to get away and live for some time afterward.... unless of course it was a zombie.
Comment icon #5 Posted by marcos anthony toledo 9 years ago
The prey survived it's wounds healed. Whether T-Rex hunted or scavenged is a foolish and pointless debate predators are and have to be muggers they out to get a meal they attack the young old and crippled because they will give the predator less trouble.
Comment icon #6 Posted by EtherialNight 9 years ago
I may not be knowledgeable about dinosaurs but surely it makes sense that a T rex would not be a scavenger, and would catch live prey like other predator species we have today, based on it's form, form and function and all that.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Junior Chubb 9 years ago
it could of lost it's tooth feeding on the corpse though, or am I missing something? What you missed was reading the article. No worries though, DecoNoir filled in the blanks for you.
Comment icon #8 Posted by d e v i c e 9 years ago
How do we know the hadrosaur wasn't just having a little nap when the T rex, thinking the hadrosaur was dead, took a bite out of it and then ran away when the hadrosaur woke up?


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