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Palaeontology

How did T. rex hunt with such tiny arms ?

April 18, 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)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #16 Posted by Duchess Gummybuns 8 years ago
Must..not..make...tiny arm joke...
Comment icon #17 Posted by Kenemet 8 years ago
It still boggles my mind that no dino were found to be specialised Insect munchers ~ 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 8 years ago
There were undoubtedly insectovores... but remember that dinosaurs preserve poorly, and tiny ones are usually a meal for another animal. 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 8 years ago
Alvarezsaurus ate ants.
Comment icon #20 Posted by ancient astronaut 8 years ago
They used crossbows.
Comment icon #21 Posted by DigitalDreamer 8 years ago
They used crossbows. Aside from the eye sore of an avatar,your comment made me chuckle
Comment icon #22 Posted by ancient astronaut 8 years ago
Aside from the eye sore of an avatar,your comment made me chuckle Dude, What's with the avatar fetish???????
Comment icon #23 Posted by Twin 8 years ago
I think they used them for toothpicks.
Comment icon #24 Posted by SecretAgentMathew 8 years ago
They look like walking crocodiles
Comment icon #25 Posted by Peter B 8 years ago
What if the little arms on T-rex had some kind of extensions? Perhaps as crab claws or something similar to shields on an insect. Something that disintegrates over time and therefore can not be seen on the bone fragments we find today. A bit like the shark is made out of cartilage. Therefore, we do not often find remnants of sharks. The weathering. Strange thought. I know. 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 thi... [More]


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