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Re: Tyrannosaur tongues?

--- Rodlox R <rodlox@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Did members of the *Tyrannosauridae* have tongues
> like modern crocs, fully 
> attached to the lower jaw?...were they like the
> breathing tongues of 
> snakes?....were they flexible and muscular like what
> parrots use to talk?


Offhand, I don't know of any evidence that suggests
anything about tyrannosaur tongues (other than that,
they had them). 

Both crocodylian & autarchoglossan (the groups of
lizards with the highly modified tongues + snakes)
tongues are specialized to aspects of these group's

Crocs use their tongues as blockages for water, so
they can open their mouths underwater without

Autarchoglossans have greatly developed the
vomeronasal system, which works with the tongue to
gather chemosensory info. As such, the tongue is
mostly/completely decoupled from feeding.

As tyrannosaurs were probably not semi-aquatic, I
doubt they had fused tongues ala crocs. 

And, since the vomeronasal system isn't that well
developed in archosaurs in general (plus there's no
hole in the maxilla for the tongue to touch the
organ), I don't think they had the forked, snakey
tongues either.

They probably just had the typical fleshy tongues seen
in iguanian lizards (barring extreme adaptations),
turtles and carnivorous mammals.


"I am impressed by the fact that we know less about many modern [reptile] types 
than we do of many fossil groups." - Alfred S. Romer

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