Discovery Proves T. rex was a Predator
The recent discovery of a T. rex tooth in the tail of another dinosaur proves the animal was indeed a predator
By: Sarah Munn, Staff Writer
Evidence proving the Tyrannosaurus rex was a predator was announced this week.
A team of scientists led by Dr. David Burnham of the University of Kansas presented their findings in this week’s issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
[pullquote]“We now have conclusive evidence that T. rex indeed engaged in predatory behaviour,” the team said.[/pullquote]
A T. rex tooth has been found embedded in the tail of another dinosaur, a herbivore called Edmontosaurus annectens in Harding County, South Dakota. The bones are 70 million years old. The tooth suggests a T. rex attacked the herbivore as its prey, but didn’t make the kill. Scientists say the bone growth over and around the tooth prove that the herbivore escaped and survived, living years after the attack.
It seems like Spielberg got it right after all: T. rex was a predator.
Although the T. rex has often, if not always, been depicted in the media as a terrifying predator, in the world of paleontology, the dinosaur’s nature has long been debated. Many believed the T. rex was more likely to have been a scavenger, based in part on its heightened sense of smell – a trait associated with scavengers. Now, this new evidence suggests the movies may have had it right all along.
The group of scientists noted that the T. rex accounts for as much as 15 per cent of the animal fossils found in the American West, so this discovery is significant to say the least.
Other scientists not involved in the study of the fossilized tooth have responded positively to the findings.
Mike Lee, a Senior Research Scientist and dinosaur expert at the University of Adelaide is quoted on sciencealert.com as saying, [pullquote]“As far as proving that T. rex engaged in predation, this evidence is as strong as we could get from a fossil.”[/pullquote]
Perhaps this recent find will prompt funding for further paleontological digs around the world in search of more clues to the past. It may even spark an increase in dinosaur tourism – something you can take part in right here in Canada.
Sarah Munn is a Toronto-based freelance writer and a graduate of the Print Journalism program at Sheridan College. Her work has appeared in the St. Lucia Star, the Oakville Beaver, the Mississauga News, the Sheridan Sun, the Sheridan Sun Online, Canadian Immigrant Magazine and on Oakville.com and DashThirty.ca. Follow her on Twitter @SarahMunnWrites.
Photo Courtesy to badassoftheweek.com
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