June 22, 2011
Tyrannosaurus Rex Was A Pack Hunter
According to new research, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, which has traditionally been seen as a lone wolf kind of dinosaur, hunted in packs.
The new research based on finds in the Gobi Desert suggests that the species was equipped with the build and speed for pack hunting, but also the brain capacity to work together as a team.
Dr. Philip Currie of the University of Alberta said evidence from 90 skeletons of Tarbosaurus Bataar, a cousin of Tyrannosaurs Rex, suggests that about half a dozen of the dinosaurs were part of a social group that died together.
He said Tyrannoasaurids' hunting technique may have involved juveniles chasing and catching prey.
Currie said younger Tyrannosaurids' skeletons show they would have been faster and more agile than adults, which were slower but much heavier and more powerful.
The similarities between the Tyrannosaurid family mean that Tyrannosaururses would have likely been capable of the same behavior as their cousins, according to Currie.
"We now have a lot of sites worldwide which show these Tyrannosaurids were grouping animals which at certain times did get together into gangs, either to hunt or move from one region to another," he said in a statement to The Telegraph.
"Moving in gangs suggests that they were behaviorally more complex than we think dinosaurs should be, and CAT scans also show their brain size was about three times what you would expect for an animal of that size."
"A dinosaur like the Tyrannosaurus Rex would have a much larger brain in proportion to its body size than a crocodile, and three times that of a plant-eating dinosaur like a Triceratops of the same size."
The new research will be explained in a document "Dino Gangs" on the Discovery Channel Sunday evening.
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