A T. Rex tooth was discovered lodged inside a plant-eating dinosaur’s spine. The discovery has confirmed some paleontologists’ belief that the Tyrannosaurus rex hunted and ate other dinosaurs.
National Academy of Sciences published a report on Monday, outlining their findings. The tooth is the first evidence that directly suggests the T. Rex was a predator, rather than a scavenger.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the tooth was found embedded in the vertebra of a hadrosaur. The duck-billed herbivore likely survived the attack as the vertebra eventually grew around the tooth.The evidence suggests that the hadrosaur was indeed attacked and bitten while alive.
T. rex tooth markings have been discovered on numerous fossils. However, the markings simply suggest that the T. rex feasted on meat. They do not prove whether the meat was consumed before or after the dinosaurs died.
Other fossils have evidence of T. rex tooth punctures, without any signs of healing or regrowth. This suggests that they probably consumed dead animals.
The embedded tooth strongly suggests the T. rex hunted, killed, and ate, other dinosaurs.
The tooth was discovered during a CT scan of the plant-eating dinosaur’s fossilized bones.
As reported by CNN, the T. rex tooth was easily identifiable due to unique characteristics. Researcher Robert DePalma explains that “the features of the tooth are like fingerprints.”
University of Kansas paleontologist David Burnham is elated with the findings:
“You see ‘Jurassic Park,’ and you see T. rex as this massive hunter and killer… scientists have argued for 100 years that he was too big and too slow to hunt prey… This now returns T. rex as a predator… They did go chasing after things, kill them and eat them.”
Scientists estimate that the T. rex was one of the largest animals to ever roam the Earth. Nearly 40 feet long and weighing close to seven tons, they were certainly one of the most intimidating prehistoric beasts.
The T. rex tooth discovery is exciting news for scientists and dinosaur fans worldwide.
[Image via Wikimedia]