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Re: LIFE SPAN/T-REX



Large reptiles that live on predator and disease free dinosaurs can live 150
to perhaps 200 yrs. This would not apply to tyrannosaurs, which led much more
dangerous lives. It is very doubtful that they lived much past 60 yrs, many
probably died from various injuries from combat with prey and each other
(documented on "Sue" and other specimens), as well as accidents and disease.
40 yrs may have been a more typical span, less than elephants which led less
dangerous lives. 

Tyrannosaurs probably had to grow rapidly, at a rate approaching, equaling or
even exceeding elephants, in order to grow quickly enough to reach sexual
maturity at a substantial fraction of adult mass in 10 to 20 years. If they
took longer to do so too many juveniles would die before reproducing, and
adult breeding period would be too short, to sustain the population. 

Of course, that tyrannosaurs took care of their babies with the intensity
portrayed in Jurassic Park is most unlikely. Even if they did care for their
young, mortality rates were probably very high because there were so many
eggs laid each year, so the attention paid to any particular baby was
probably minimal. The long snouts of juvenile tyrannosaurs mean they lacked
the short faced nuturing appeal of well cared for babies. Instead it suggests
they were independent hunters with lots of sharp teeth. 

GSPaul