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Tyrannosaurus Rex: hunter or scavenger?
Sorry to bring up a trite question...but what is the consensus view on the
feeding habits of Tyrannosaurus Rex?
I imagine T-Rex as a predator, stalking hadrosaurs, ceratopsians, and
sauropods in the jungle or woodlands and crouching in the undergrowth
downwind, and then bursting out and pursuing them (or fighting them in the
case of the ceratopsian) until it got a grip on the neck and then delivering
a bone-shattering bite. However, I believe it would take carrion if
necessary (as stale as rotting meat probably tastes).
A common reconstruction of T-Rex behavior by the "obligatory scavenger" camp
is stealing prey from other theropods, but this does not seem realistic. The
only other non-avaian predatory theropods known to coexist with T-Rex
(Dromeosaurus, Chirostenotes, etc.) are very tiny, and while these animals
could have hunted in packs, I doubt they would have brought down game big
enough to feed a T-Rex. The size difference between these smaller theropods
and T-Rex's probable preferred foods is similar to that between wild dogs
and elephants, and wild dogs, if I recall correctly, do not usually attack
elephants, pack-hunting strategies notwithstanding (I guess the fear of
getting squashed suppresses all willingness to cooperate).
BTW, whatever happened to the allosauroids of North America in the Early
Cretaceous (e.g. Acrocanthosaurus)? Did competition with tyrannosaurids
eventually wipe them out, or did changing climate cause their extinction?
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