Most of us don’t think the tyrannosaur was a sweet, cuddly and mild-natured creature. Well, here’s some evidence bolstering our ferocious image of the dinosaur: researchers stumbled upon a new bone they say strongly suggests tyrannosaur cannibalism. The team will present its findings Sunday at the annual Geological Society of America meeting.
A tyrannosaur bone uncovered in Wyoming’s Lance Formation, broken at both ends, was covered in “very deep groves,” paleontologist Matthew McLainof Loma Linda University said in a release.
The groves indicate another animal had pulled flesh off of the bone, in the same way we a human might eat a chicken leg, according to the researchers. But one segment of the bone contained a bunch of smaller, parallel grooves, which may have been caused by the animal turning its head while eating and dragging its serrated teeth across the bone.
Those serrated teeth mean the animal eating the tyrannosaur was most likely another theropod dinosaur, “and the width of the larger grooves suggests the traces were made by a tyrannosaur,” researchers write.
“This has to be a tyrannosaur,” McLain said. “There’s just nothing else that has such big teeth.”