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Tyrannosaur Fossil Indicates Cannibalistic Tendencies

posted: 04/09/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Daspletosaurus dinosaur
BBC/DCI

Paleontologists examining a Daspletosaurus fossil have found evidence that ferocious, predatory dinosaurs engaged in cannibalistic behavior.

Bite marks on the Daspletosaurus' skull indicate that it was the victim of a vicious bite to the back of its head; the marks closely resemble other tyrannosaur teeth. While this particular bite was not lethal, other bite marks elsewhere on the specimen indicate that another tyrannosaur scavenged the Daspletosaurus' carcass after it died.

"This animal clearly had a tough life suffering numerous injuries across the head, including some that must have been quite nasty. The most likely candidate to have done this is another member of the same species, suggesting some serious fights between these animals during their lives," posits study lead author Dr. David Hone from Queen Mary University of London.

While cannibalism has been previously documented in other tyrannosaurs, this is the first recorded instance of both pre- and post-mortem trauma to a particular specimen.

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