Tyrannosaurus rex may have been scavenger

February 18, 2006

U.S. researchers belive the dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex might not have been a predator, but a scavenger.

Paleontologists Lawrence Witmer, of Ohio University, and Jack Horner, curator of Paleontology Museum of the Rockies will present their findings at their findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in St. Louis.

Witmer used computed tomography, or a CT scan, to reconstruct the shape of the animal's brain, the BBC reported Friday.

The dinosaur's ear suggests it had excellent hearing and balance, but Horner has uncovered evidence that casts the dinosaur as lumbering and awkward because the animal possessed a strong ligament that would have made its body very rigid, restricting its range of movement.

Horner said that the dinosaur has been found in comparatively large numbers, but top predators are usually in comparatively small numbers and its teeth were specialized for crushing bone.

"You don't need bone-crushing teeth if you're killing another animal, you just take the meat and go," he explained.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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