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Re: What feathers mean
Larry Dunn wrote:
> Tyrannosaurs were cannibals because Sue's face was "torn off,"
> apparently, by another Tyrannosaur, and this is probably what killed her!
> Does this equate? Couldn't Sue have died and subsequently been
> scavenged by another Tyrannosaur?
First of all, if Sue was scavenged by other tyrannosaurs, this WOULD
be cannibalism (eating your own kind, regardless opf if you killed it),
which a recent DISCOVER article notes is also suggested
by a recently found T.rex skeleton that has apparently been extensivly
scavenged by other T.rexs, as evidenced by bite marks on the bones, (and
also a few dislodged teeth if I remember right).
The "torn off face" part is considered to be evidence of
intraspecific combat, or fighting that occured while Sue was still
alive. The best evidence that is used to determine wounds that may have been
caused by intraspecific combat are the same used to determine evidence of
active predation: the bite wounds show eveidence of healing and/or
infection. Since dead animals don't heal or get many infections, these
wounds would therefore have occured while the animal was still alive
(and it survived for a time afterwards: as you said, bite marks
that resulted attacks that killed the animal outright would be
indistinguishible from those resulting from scavenging).
I don't know about the face bite, but Sue apparently had other
infections resulting from (a?) T.rex bite marks, including one on her side
that actually had a tooth still imbedded in it. Does anyone have a tally
of Sue's injuries handy? Where is Sue right now anyway?
I beleive someone on this list mentioned another recently found
tyrannosaur with infected tyrannosaur bite marks on the face.
As far as I know, the only possibly T.rex inflicted bite that shows
evidence of healing is the Edmontosaurus tail at DMNH, where the neural
spines in an area have apparently been crunched off in a suspiciously
T.rex-mouth-shaped hemisphere, with later bone regrowth. No in situ
T.rex teeth unfortunately, but a hole has been punched clean through
one of the mangled spines.
"36?!? Does that INCLUDE me!?!"