Dinosaur talk always strikes me the same as space talk. That is, in the sense that there’s a ton of interesting conjecture, but I’m always a smidge skeptical. But sometimes when the news is interesting enough, it’s worth repeating. Studies have dropped in the past couple of days suggesting that the King of All Dinosaurs, Mr. Tyrannosaurus Rex was a cannibal. Say it ain’t so! According to a crack team of crackpot scientists – that isn’t fair, they’re in all likelihood more brilliant than I could imagine – the gashes on one T. rex suggests that it could have only been made by another of the same species.
Like I said, we’re taking leaps of impressive speculation here.
“They’re the kind of marks that any big carnivore could have made, but T. rex was the only big carnivore in western North America 65 million years ago,” Nicholas R. Longrich of Yale University said in a statement.
Longrich and colleagues report their findings in Friday’s edition of the journal PLoS ONE.
They found 17 fossils with deep V-shaped gouges of a type identified as being made by T. rex. Of those, four were remains of T. rex themselves.
It seems likely the marks were made during scavenging from a dead dinosaur, the researchers said.
“It does seem improbable that Tyrannosaurus routinely hunted full-grown members of its own species,” the researchers wrote.
However, they added, it is possible that combat led to casualties, with the dead becoming convenient sources of food for the victors. “Still, compelling evidence for predation in Tyrannosaurus remains elusive.
So well then! I mean, yeah, what the hell is the story worth? Some interesting guesswork and a handful of possibly this and possibly that. But I mean, yeah! There you go. I think more interesting than the fact that the there were T. rexes walking around in North America. For sure, millions and zillions of years ago. But still, it’s interesting to imagine that the very land we’re smashing about on, at one point in time, houses cannibalistic insane-o creatures of unfathomable fright and might.