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Re: _T. rex_ debate in the newspaper



> >I doubt that T. Rex would have been capable of biting through the neck
> >vertebrae of it's prey, as this would almost certainly have broken its
> >teeth. Rex teeth are designed for cutting gashes out of prey and leaving
> >large debilitating wounds, and rounded teeth are much better at removing
> >large amounts of flesh from the victim in one bite, leaving a 'trough'
> >shaped wound, than pointed slashing teeth. Why would Raptors have needed
> >their teeth so much when they had sickle claws anyhow.

True IMHO.

> .."would have broken it`s teeth." Are you sure about this??? I thought
neck
> vertebrae of Sauropods were highly pneumaticized . I was wondering (and
> hoping for a response by some T-rex expert) if there  was some
relationship
> between the length of T-rex`s teeth and what it could have dispatched in
> this manner. Perhaps there was some type of an "arms race" between
sauropods
> and tyrannosaurs in this matter. Perhaps T-rex could only dispatch smaller
> immature sauropods in this way, and only sick and old sauropods that
through
> exhaustion couldn`t hold their heads high, and exposed the neck in the
head
> region perhaps allowing for decapitation (again, I`m thinking of all those
> sauropod fossils with missing skulls). I`m not familiar though with the
> specific measurements ie. diameter of neck vertebrae vs length of
> tyrannosaur teeth. (I could look into this , but was hoping for a "quick
> answer"...8^).

Why sauropods? There were hardly any sauropods living at the same time and
place as *T. rex*, at best *Alamosaurus* and maybe *Dyslocosaurus*...
Hadrosaurs and ceratopsids are much likelier prey, and indeed those have
bite marks.

"that through exhaustion couldn't hold their heads high"

This was probably done by ligaments which don't become tired.

The missing sauropod skulls can well be the result of preservational bias --
they were all relatively small and composed of rather thin, fragile bones.
They are simply the least likely to fossilize. BTW, I know of no sauropod
skeleton that is preserved to the first (or second, or third...) neck
vertebra and misses the skull. Next to this condition comes
*Opisthocoelicaudia*, which lacks the entire neck! In any incomplete
sauropod skeleton, you'd expect to find the more massive bones, meaning limb
bones, girdles and a few vertebrae, but not the skull.