One of the most evocative descriptions of the tyrannosaurids I've ever
come across dubbed them "land sharks", and it's quite easy to imagine
these creatures accelerating through a clearing and crashing into the
side of a grazing dino with their head down & mouth wide.
The arms appear to have been robust enough to still serve some
function, but I can't imagine them being used in predation - 7 tonnes
of teeth barrelling into your prey will do most of the work ;-)
- Too true - and the theory holds that the capacity to inflict massive trauma with a single bite allows the predator to dash in, take a single chomp then stand back and wait for the prey to collapse from blood loss. This minimises both the need to engage in risky close quarters grappling with large animals, as well as energy expenditure. Among living species, the Komodo Dragon is the best analogue and komodoensis will track wounded (and poisoned prey) for considerable periods until blood loss and septicemia overcome it. Of course, this is only a viable tactic for top predators, if the dragon wasn't at the top of the chain it would be too likely to loose its prey to bigger hitters. But there was no bigger hitter than rex. The same reasoning has been applied to ziphodont and supposedly terrestrial crocodiles.
Dr Stephen Wroe
HOMEPAGE - http://www.bio.usyd.edu.au/staff/swroe/swroe.htm
Institute of Wildlife Research,
School of Biological Sciences (AO8)
University of Sydney NSW Australia 2006
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