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Tyrannosaurs



In reference to the folllowing:

>How about another, possibly related question: why were tyrannosaurs' mouths
>so huge and toothy?  Of presently-living animals, few have jaws so large
>in proportion to the skull and rest of the body.  Various deep sea fish,
>frogs, crocodilians and baleen whales are about it, as compared to the
>mammalian carnivores and even sharks's proportionally smaller jaws.
>Why wouldn't tyrannosaurs have been able to kill using a smaller gape
>and fewer teeth, and then bit off smaller chunks at their leisure?
>
>Is the size of the jaw an indicator of some essential aspect of their
>lifestyle?  Perhaps taken together, a big mouth and small arms are clues
>to an important feature of their way of life.

I once read something along the lines (I believe it was in either Bob 
Bakker's "The Dinosaur Heresies" or Gregory Paul's "Predatory Dinosaurs of 
the World (?)") that a T. Rex could use their large jaws to rip out a large 
gaping chunk of flesh from the prey animal and then follow the animal until 
it expired from loss of blood or secondary infection (similair to the 
predation practiced by the Komodo dragon).  This is all supposition of 
course, but an interesting theory.

On another thread from the same posting, I remember reading in the newspaper 
(within the past 6 months) that there had been recent evidence of three 
fingers instead of two on a T. rex skeleton.  If memory serves, the third 
finger was opposed to the other two (i.e. a thumb).  Any truth to this in a 
refereed journal?  I do remember that it was a "real" newspaper rather than 
a tabloid, so of course this makes it completely believable.  :)



Steve

skshowa@sandia.gov