How tyrannosaurs grew into fierce predators Today’s Video of the Day from UC Berkeley describes research that is providing new insight into how young tyrannosaurs grew into fierce predators.
Professor Jack Tseng teamed up with Professor Joseph Peterson of the University of Wisconsin to examine fossilized dinosaur bones that had teeth marks from a young tyrannosaur.
The study revealed that young tyrannosaurs practiced their biting and strengthened their jaws before their adult teeth came in.
The researchers determined that a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex exerted a powerful bite force that was about one-sixth the force of an adult.
“If you are up to almost 6,000 newtons of bite force, that places them in a slightly different weight class,” said Professor Tseng.
“By really refining our estimates of juvenile bite force, we can more succinctly place them in a part of the food web and think about how they may have played the role of a different kind of predator from their larger, adult parents.” Tyrannosaur, any of a group of predatory dinosaur s that lived from the late Jurassic Period (about 150 million years ago) to the latest Cretaceous Period (about 65 million years ago), at which time they reached their greatest dominance.
Video Credit: UC Berkeley video by Roxanne Makasdjian and Jeremy Snowden, with footage courtesy of Jack Tseng
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer