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Healed Scars On Triceratops Skull



The listprocessor frustrated Rich's several attempts to send this
directly.  When it saw the first three letters of his original text,
it assumed that he was accidentally sending a subscription request to
the list.  Beware of such things when writing to mailing lists!

-- MPR 


------- Start of forwarded message -------
Date: Sat, 1 Nov 2003 21:01:10 -0700 (MST)
From: "Richard W. Travsky" <rtravsky@uwyo.edu>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Healed Scars On Triceratops Skull

Subscription required.

http://www.sciencenews.org/20031101/note17.asp

Although Tyrannosaurus rex has a reputation as a fierce predator, the
evidence to back up that notoriety has been both rare and debatable. Now,
a fossil Triceratops skull with healed bone scars may compel
paleontologists to give T. rex its due.

Previously, all of the gnaw marks on bones that have positively identified
T. rex as the chewer have shown no sign of healing, says John W. Happ of
Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va. It's impossible to tell whether
those traces are signs of predation or scavenging. A healed wound would
indicate that the intended victim got away from a predator, Happ notes.

The partial skull of a large adult Triceratops unearthed in Montana in
1997 has several wounds that probably were inflicted by a T. rex, says
Happ. All of the wounds show signs of infection and healing, an indication
that the Triceratops lived for several years after the attack. The outer
third of the creature's left brow horn is missing, and cone-shaped
indentations on what's left match the tooth tips of a typical large
tyrannosaur. Also, Happ says, the 65-millimeter gaps between three deep,
parallel scrapes on the left side of the skull match the tooth spacing of
T. rex, the only meat eater in the ecosystem. 

Happ, J. 2003. Periosteal reaction to injuries of the supraorbital horn
and squamosal of an adult Triceratops (Dinosauria: Ceratopsidae). Society
of Vertebrate Paleontology annual meeting. Oct. 15-18. St. Paul, Minn.
Abstract available at
http://www.vertpaleo.org/meetings/VRPA2303supp_all.pdf
------- End of forwarded message -------