Teenage tantrums of the T rex
Tuesday 03 November 2009
Tyrannosaurus rex had terrible teenage tantrums that ended in fierce fights between bickering adolescents which left scars that can still be seen in fossils tens of millions of years old.
A study of one fossil, a young female T. rex called Jane, has revealed that she suffered the equivalent of a broken nose as a result of a savage bite from another adolescent T. rex, said Joe Peterson, of Northern Illinois University and the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford.
"Jane has what we call a boxer's nose. Her snout bends slightly to the left. It was probably broken and healed back crooked. Only a few animals could have inflicted the wound," said Dr Peterson.
"When we looked at the jaw and teeth of Jane, we realised her bite would have produced a very close match to the injuries on her own face," he added.
"That leads us to believe she was attacked by a member of the same species that was about the same age. Because the wound had healed, we think this happened when Jane was possibly a few years younger."
The study is published in the journal Palaios.
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