Rex Tyrannosaurus is known for its brutality.

Rex Tyrannosaurus is known for its brutality.
Rex Tyrannosaurus is known for its brutality.

It uses long, sharp teeth to bite its prey, and can remove 230 kg (500 lbs) of meat in one go. And, despite its size, the 100-meter speed may not be much slower than the human 100-meter sprint record holder Usain Bolt. In short, it may be the most efficient killing machine ever on Earth.

But if a new study concludes, this impression may need to be adjusted slightly.

"I think this can expand our understanding of the life habits of Rex T-Rex and even other dinosaurs."
Bruce Rothschild, a paleontologist at the University of Kansas, studied the fingerprints left by Rex Tyrannosaurus predators and found that this animal sometimes gives up bloody and brutal killings, revealing naughty one side.

His analysis suggests that Rex T-Rex may also play or participate in some obvious recreational activities. This is very similar to some reptiles and birds of our time, and other dinosaurs living in the same era may have similar behavior.

Rothschild first noticed that some previous reports showed that the fingerprints on dinosaur bones found at foraging points were different from those on bones found separately.

The ruthlessness of Rex T-Rex is chilling
At the foraging point, Rex Tyrannosaurus's tooth marks are mainly left on the meat or bone marrow. They also found that contemporary predators take similar measures when preying on prey, such as dismembering the skeleton, biting bones, twisting bones, and leaving deep teeth marks.

"Although it sounds reasonable, there are other explanations for these teethprints, such as the tyrannosaurus reversing their prey when they break down their prey."
However, the fingerprints on isolated bones are more likely to come from parts that are not rich in nutrition, and the shape of the fingerprints is not consistent with predation.

Rothschild was particularly interested in dental prints on the occipital condyle, a spherical bone located behind the cranium and without bone marrow inside.

He re-analyzed the previous research on the tooth prints on 8 horned dragons (this dinosaur has horns on its face and bone folds on its neck, and Triceratops is the typical representative), and personally inspected the Royal Canadian Tyrell Museum and three other dinosaur fossils from the University of Kansas.

The researchers believe that these tooth prints are from Rex Tyrannosaurus, which was extinct 65 million years ago, because there is no fossil evidence that there are other predators that can leave such large tooth prints, and they have to interact with these prey. Of dinosaurs lived in the same period and the same place.

Dinosaur bones can reveal unknown secrets
Rothschild says the different types of bones and the tooth marks left on them provide important clues that can help scientists understand the behavior of dinosaurs.

"If I eat a piece of chicken, I definitely won't eat the cartilage at the end of the bone, because the taste is not good. The bones found at the foraging point also show the same condition." He said.

"But if you look at the bones that were excavated independently, especially the joints, you will find that the shape and characteristics of the teeth are completely different, and the bones are not broken, which means that they have taken different actions."

Rothschild then adopted the familiar deduction of Sherlock Holmes, the fictitious detective in the novel. Sherlock Holmes famously said: "Excluding everything that is impossible, and the rest, even if unbelievable, is the truth."

Rothschild concluded in a paper published in the journal Ethnology, Ecology and Evolution that previous studies have ruled out that these marks are formed by corrosion and weathering, so "There is only one possibility of deduction: these teeth marks on the bones are caused by play."

This should be the first time that researchers have proposed the idea that dinosaurs like to play.

Researchers have found similar activity in some modern reptiles (including Orinoco crocodiles, several monitor lizards, and Komodo dragons) and birds (especially predatory birds).

"I think this can expand our understanding of the life habits of Rex Tyrannosaurus Rex, and even other dinosaurs," said Rothschild. "A lot of animals play and play, including our pets, so this possibility must exist."

However, Steve Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh, said the study did not provide sufficient evidence to support this hypothesis.

"This doesn't provide conclusive evidence. Although it sounds reasonable, there are other explanations for these teeth marks, such as the tyrannosaurus tearing off their heads when they break down their prey."

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published