New research has revealed startling new findings, disclosing the creepy side of Tyrannosaurus Rex by shedding light on its "cannibalistic tendencies." The findings have introduced a new dimension to our knowledge of the feeding habits of arguably the most fearsome predatory dinosaur ever to roam the planet.
A 66-million-year-old fossil unearthed by paleontologists recently suggests that the giant prehistoric hunter may have frequently devoured its own kind in addition to other dinosaurs. Recently discovered leg bone fragments from a Tyrannosaur crushed at both ends and laced with unusually deep grooves offer convincing clues to an encounter with another formidable and much larger meat-eating predator. According to experts, such a predator could only have been another Tyrannosaur considering that it was "the only carnivore around that time capable of creating such damage." The grooves provide strong evidence of tooth marks typically associated with carnivorous bi-pedal "Theropod" dinosaurs, hence the extensive damage inflicted upon the structure of the bone fragment.
Palaeontologist Matthew McLain of Loma Linda University in California confirmed his observations.
"Someone found a Tyrannosaur bone that was broken at both ends. It was covered in grooves. They were very deep grooves. This has to be a Tyrannosaur."Theropod" dinosaurs in particular have notoriously specialized teeth that made them instantly devour flesh and bones. These predators had a uniquely "saw-like" tooth structure that enabled them to hunt down and engulf prey without much hindrance. Recent reports have confirmed that this peculiar structure is most unique to carnivorous theropods, making them the fiercest hunter dinosaurs of their time.
"There's just nothing else that has such big teeth."
According to experts from University of Toronto Mississauga, "theropods: were extremely efficient at shattering bones and tearing flesh from much larger animals and reptiles.
"What is so fascinating is that all animal teeth are made from the same building blocks, but the way the blocks fit together to form the structure of the tooth greatly affects how that animal processes food. The hidden complexity of the tooth structure in theropods suggests that they were more efficient at handling prey than previously thought, likely contributing to their success."The T-Rex was one of the largest and vicious carnivorous predators that ever lived. Everything about this ferocious killer dinosaur, from its mammoth, heavy skull to its piercing jaws, was designed for the most devastating bone-crushing impact. The dinosaur's eating habits have long been deliberated upon by experts, with some claiming that it was more of a passive scavenger than a ferociously hostile hunter preferring instead to feast on carcasses that may have been previously devoured. More recent evidence however has suggested that the opposite may in fact be the case.
More recent evidence emerging from paleontologists after having examined prehistoric fossilized remnants of these dinosaurs has indeed confirmed that the species did in fact belligerently hunt down and devour other dinosaurs, citing evidence of active predatory encounters between them. Although very little is believed to be known about the rather ambiguous eating habits of these enormous predators, paleontologists have for years studied the fossilized bone fragments of both herbivorous as well as carnivorous dinosaurs and validated the predatory nature of these creatures. For instance experts from the United States and Canada had observed bite marks on giant T-Rex bones that were in fact made by other Tyrannosaurs.
New findings appear to have lent even further credence to erstwhile paleontological conclusions thereby disclosing a dark and even more sinister aspect of these terrifying predators that once roamed the wilderness of prehistoric times.
[Image Credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images]