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Re: a question of balance
I like this issue a lot. Regarding T. rex's eating attitude, I refer to two
works: Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs by Novacek, and Discover 12/96.
The later had a nice article on p. 24 entitled "Chomp Champ." It opens with
"Was Tyrannosaurus rex nothing more than a glorified carrion eater?" It then
reveals the study of Gregory Erikson who, with the aid of Stanford engineers,
concluded that T. rex's nipping bite was just over 3000 pounds. Its full blown
crushing bite would have been greater. The study was based on a Triceratops
pelvis that was mauled by a T. rex.
Novacek on p. 208 summarizes Horner's conclusion on T. rex, on how its small
arms would have hurt its hunting ability. He then gives some powerful evidence
indicating that "trexies" were terrific hunters. AMNH 5027 has "broken ribs
and fused trunk vertebrae that resulted from injury." He then pointed out
that a fossil skull has tyrannosaurid teeth embedded in it. (IF SOMEONE COULD
TELL ME WHAT SKULL THAT IS, THAT'LL BE GREAT) This and other skeletal
evidence, like the known violence between trexies, moved him to say: "there is
no convincing reason to say they weren't terrific killers." Indeed, these
fossils show that they were powerful, active beasts.
Also, weren't trexy's arms powerfully muscled? They probably helped him get
up, even if he was on his side. And since he had such powerful jaws, he
probably didn't need long arms to supplement his feeding.
Since they also had binocular vision, I must conclude that tyrannosaurs were
fully capable of hunting. The next question is, did they hunt in packs?
Thanx. Have a nice day!