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Palaeontology

Tyrannosaurus rex couldn't stick out its tongue

June 21, 2018 | Comment icon 6 comments



T. rex would have been unable to waggle or stick out its tongue. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 David Monniaux
Researchers have revealed that the terrifying therapod had a tongue that was anchored to its mouth.
Despite numerous movie depictions of the tyrant lizard roaring at the top of its lungs with its tongue waving in the direction of its hapless prey, scientists have now revealed that if there is one thing that Tyrannosaurus rex wasn't very good at - it's sticking out its own tongue.

The discovery was made by palaeontologist Julia Clarke of the University of Texas at Austin and colleagues who looked at the fossil remains of the bony structures found in dinosaurs' mouths.

The findings indicated that the majority of dinosaurs had a mouth structure similar to that of today's alligators and crocodiles which have their tongue fixed firmly to the floor of their mouths.
This suggests that T. rex wouldn't have even been able to waggle its tongue, let alone stick it out.

"It turns out that most dinosaurs have the very simple hyoid bones of modern crocodiles, which anchor a tongue that is pretty much glued to the floor of the mouth," said palaeontologist Stephen Brusatte.

"A cousin of T. rex called Yutyrannus has this type of hyoid bone, as do almost all other dinosaurs, so it's reasonable to infer that T. rex did as well. Those images in Jurassic Park of the T. rex sticking its tongue out like a lizard as it prepares to devour its prey are probably wrong."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Kismit 4 years ago
T-Rex still one of the most awe inspiring dinosaurs. They must have had incredible strength in thier jaws and stood on thier prey†in an ambush style of attack.† The image of a T-Rex launching itself at its prey just seem too rediculous to comprehend.†
Comment icon #2 Posted by Not A Rockstar 4 years ago
With teeth like they had, maybe it was a good plan to have the tongues rooted well and out of the way Amazing things, the dinos. I think if I could pick a time to fly around invisibly like an eagle and just look, it would be the dino era I would choose. I'd like to see a T-rex, and pterodactyls and a direwolf :).
Comment icon #3 Posted by John Allanson 4 years ago
Surely that should be, If there was two things it wasn't good at? The first was scratching it's nose.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Wyld.wulf 4 years ago
He couldn't clap or reach the top shelf either....
Comment icon #5 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 4 years ago
T rex could get drunk off 2 beers
Comment icon #6 Posted by freetoroam 4 years ago
With those feet, the tongue would have been the last thing to worry about.


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