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Re: Predator Skulls

On Thu, 17 Feb 2000 19:25:45   Mickey Mortimer wrote:
**Mickey Mortimer wrote:**
>    No it doesn't.  I'm sure that most predatory dinosaurs used their jaws as 
> their main weapon.  The skull bones that needed strength (maxillae, 
> dentaries, etc) were built to handle stress.  Tyrannosaurid tooth marks on 
> bones indicate they could bite with plenty of force, and although most other 
> large theropods' skulls weren't built as heavily, I'm sure they were 
> effectively designed for handling stress as well.  As for the smaller 
> theropods with lighter skulls, they were going after smaller prey.  Besides, 
> what else (excepting killer claws on dromaeosaurs, etc.) could theropods use 
> to inflict enough damage to kill their prey?

Yeah, tyrannosaurids, especially T. rex, were able to bite with remarkable 
force.  Erickson (1996) estimated that T. rex bit with a force 13,400 N 
(Newtons), a force comparable to that of an American alligator when feeding, or 
to about 2 tons (as Erickson said-the weight of a pick up truck).  As a 
comparison, humans bite at a maximum force of about 749 N, dusty sharks and 
wolves at about 1430 N, and lions at about 4168 N.  So, yeah, this definitely 
shows that tyrannosaurids could bite with remarkable force.

As for other carnivorous dinosaurs not in the tyrannosaurid line, I am not sure 
if bite force studies have been conducted.  While they probably wouldn't be as 
great as T. rex, these foces would probably be remarkable, too.  

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