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Re: Tyrannosaurs gorged on the young



Referring to the _T. rex_ coprolite, Betty Cunningham wrote:

> The ingested hardosaur bits were probably identified due to indigested
> bits that have a recocogniseable signature form or cell shape.

According to the paper, Karen Chin et al., "A king-sized coprolite," _Nature
Vol. 393, pp. 680-682, June 18, 1998, the ingested prey's bone fragments
were determined to have originated from a dinosaur based on the presence of
thick fibrolamellar cortical bone.  Absence of secondary osteons indicates
that the animal was probably subadult.  Absence of arrested growth lines may
indicate that the prey was an ornithischian dinosaur.  Based on the cortical
bone thickness, the fragments are likely to have come either from
appendicular bone or ceratopian frill.  If the bone fragments represent the
remains of long-bone diaphyses, the animal consumed may have weighed
approximately 200 kg (if a biped) or 750 kg (if a quadruped).  The most
common ornithischian dinosaurs in the Frenchman formation are _Triceratops_
and _Edmontosaurus_, although _Torosaurus_, _Thescelosaurus_, and an
unidentified ankylosaur also occur in this formation, so the consumed animal
could be any of these, if not something as yet undiscovered there.

Hey!  Another young animal ingested by a tyrannosaur!  Still WAY too small a
sample to establish statistical significance.

-- Ralph W. Miller III       gbabcock@best.com