The U.S. and Canadian paleontologists have revealed that they have uncovered evidences, indicating that tyrannosaurus rex (T.rex) could have been a cannibal, who feasted on its own kins at times.
Study lead researcher, a paleontologist Nicholas Longrich, from the Yale University, stated that he along with his team was analyzing dinosaur bone collections in the museums when he they came across bone with gashes, nearly half-inch deep in it.
After careful studying, they came to conclusion that these kind of deep wound could have been made by some large predator.
Commenting on the startling discovery, Longrich explained in a press statement, “They're the kind of marks that any big carnivore could have made, but T. rex was the only big carnivore in western North America 65 million years ago.”
The details of the study findings appeared online in the Oct. 15 issue of the journal 'PLoS ONE.'
Possible reason behind such behavior
There is a possibility that this kind of behavior followed only after fights, where victor not just won but also got meat of defeated one as a reward.
“They're the kind of marks that any big carnivore could have made, but T. rex was the only big carnivore in western North America 65 million years ago,” said Longrich.
"You're killing a competitor and getting a free meal at the same time. The hunting is going to be better if you eat the other hunters," explained Longrich.
Many scientists believe, the new study have provided one of the most startling fact on the eating habits of T.rex as nobody till date suspected about the possibility that mighty T.rex might have engaged in cannibalism.
As per paleontologist Sterling Nesbitt at the University of Washington, no one before this found out anything like this because it’s quite rare to find fossils that can provide information on the species’ behavior.
Nesbitt added, to study how a dinosaur protected its eggs "can only be made if you find the dinosaur brooding on the nest; that's an example of how rare it is. That animal had to die sitting on its eggs."
However, curator of vertebrate paleontology Hans-Dieter Sues, at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., is not much surprised by the study findings.
"Meat-eaters of all kinds feed on dead animals, which, after all, are just meat lying around for the taking. Even pigs, which are omnivores, eat other dead pigs. There is nothing remarkable about this at all,” revealed Sues.
Sues added modern predators like crocodiles, komodo dragons are known to prey on their kin especially young. Even female spiders eat their mates, and some chimpanzees feed on infant chimps.