Thursday, August 06, 2009

Tyrannosaurus Rex: Baby Killer

It is being suggested, in an article in Yahoo News, that T.Rex, the largest of the tyrannosaurs, spent most of its time preying on animals that were either juveniles or infants, so it could eat them whole. The story notes:

David Hone, a British palaeontologist working in China, believes the Tyrannosaurs preferred to prey upon small and unwary baby rivals rather than their fully-grown parents.

His study, carried out with Oliver Rauhut of the Bavarian State Collection for Palaeontology and Geology in Munich, suggests that baby-eating was a common behaviour among the large predatory dinosaurs, offering a possible explanation why so few juvenile dinosaurs have been found in fossil records.

The pair, whose work was published in the journal Lethaia and reported in The Independent, believe that eating baby dinosaurs whole or in large pieces enabled T.rex to digest the minerals and nutrients stored in the bones of their small prey.

This will surely not improve the animal's already checkered image.

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