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Re: Into the Mouths of Tyrannosaurs...

IThat seems perfectly reasonable to me.  Among today's animals the largest part of the body often becomes a display device be it the dewlaps of Anoles or the ears of African Elephants (they also serve to shunt heat but are definitely for display as well even though they aren't colorful).  What's the largest most obvious part of a Tyranosaur?  Its head.  Just as it has been speculated with Ceratopsian frills it would make perfect sense for T. rex's head to be brightly colored on the outside and inside. 
Interesting fact, some baby birds have markings on the inside of their mouths that help their parents know where to put the food.
I think that the healed wounds were just as likely from adults.  Indeed weren't some of Sue's wounds not fully healed?  Tyranosaurs were powerful but I think they had enough control over themselves to bite things without doing mortal damage.
I had an idea a long time ago for a purpose for Tyranosaur arms.  Its completely unprovable of course but I wonder what others would think of it.  The arms of Tyranosaurs are small but very powerful.  Perhaps like the antlers of deer they were used to judge the strength of the opposing Tyranosaur in a non violent way.  They would stand side by side facing each other, lock their two fingered hooks, and press against each other till it was apparent who was stronger.
More likely than the meat hooks theory I think...
Jonathan Schmidt.   Lurker
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 5:35 AM
Subject: Into the Mouths of Tyrannosaurs...

So there I was...... staring at my almost completely painted Tony McVey Running  _Tyrannosaurus rex_...... and I had a revelation..... You know,.... one of those deeply insightful experiences that makes you lose your grip on reality and freak out for a second when they occur at 4 am.... As I was looking at the unpainted inner mouth of this tyrannosaurus, the voices in my head made me say out loud "I bet you this sucker had a multicolored mouth!".....

Here is the convoluted reasoning behind my madness.... _Tyrannosaurus rex_ had a HUGE mouth.... No one with a shred of sanity disputes this..... We are pretty much coming to an understanding via a sneaky bite mark pattern found on these animals that hints that they practiced jaw grappling like big, mean, ill-tempered, over grown satanic Big Birds on steroids.... the things that make Groucho shiver in fear at the bottom of his tightly closed trash can..... Now, many a reptile and bird does this as well.... Chameleons definitely come to mind... BUT!...... with the chameleons also comes the added baggage of what they do BEFORE they resort to physical contact via grabbing each other by the mouth.... The little tyrants hiss and moan and throw a fit with their mouths wide open.... as if saying "I have a bigger mouth then you do and if you don't want to get yourself messed up I suggest you get lost buddy boy!!!!!"  The insides of their mouths are colored..... They usually ! ha! ! ve a combination of a black or dark purple with a lighter shade of red or something.  If I'm not mistaken, I believe that large-beaked birds sometimes have a combination of a dark and light canvas to their inner mouths, and like a toucan for example, this is usually contrasted with a brightly colored outer beak.

Now, what if, since we are wielding a much more dangerous weapon then a beak here..... tyrannosaurs in a fowl mood (no pun intended) that came upon each other and felt like sparing,...... first threw a fit with roaring and hissing and stomping  and dirt kicking and lunging forward at each other with mouths open as far as they could go, flashing multicolored gums at each other in an attempt to startle the source of their frustrations???  Think about it.... These huge monsters..... waking up the entire neighborhood with their temper tantrums..... squaring off at each other..... sizing each other up..... trying to scare each other away so as to avoid any type of physical contact which would undoubtedly result in serious injury or even death because of the weapons and power that would be wielded here. I'm betting they even kicked each other like ostriches before resorting to using the jaws.

Since these tooth puncture marks and scrapes that we find on the faces and jaws of tyrannosaurs usually show signs of being healed, I'm thinking that they were not suffered as adults. The consequences of two adults going at each other with their mouths is just too bloody to think about.... We would have a serious species survivability problem..... What I'm thinking is that these healed face bites were actually inflicted early in life during nestling and teenage disputes over dominance and over food being brought by Mother Dearest.

I'm sure I will chicken out and paint the inside of the mouth of this guy the same old shades of pink..... But, I just thought I'd share a thought that crossed my mind at 4 in the morning...... If for nothing but cheap entertainment for you.


By the way..... you ever notice what a lie that statement "chicken out" actually is??? The next time you are with a live chicken that is not in a cage or something.... Upset it... I triple dog dare you..... Let me know when you are going to do this.... I want to video tape it.