• Fossil shows Allosaurus may have been a cannibal

    Date:29 May 2020 Author: Leila Stein

    Examination of Allosaurus dinosaur bones has led researchers to believe that bite marks found on them could have been made by its own kind.

    The bones, found in the Mygatt-Moore quarry in western Colorado, reveal possible new behaviour by these incredible predators. Their research has been published in the journal Plos One.

    In it, first author Dr Stephanie Drumheller-Horton, from the University of Tennessee, and her team explain how they examined 2,368 fossilised bones from around 152 million years ago. The identified bite marks on many of the bones from across the body.

    “Predators usually target the meatiest bits first and work their way down through less and less nutritious parts. A big theropod trying to eat another big theropod’s toes was probably very late to the party, when the more choice sections were already eaten,” said Drumheller-Horton.  

    The team believes these marks also show evidence of Allosaurus bite marks on Allosaurus bones, indicating cannibalism on the part of these creatures. One possible answer for this turn on each other is desperation. The researchers also noted that the bites possibly indicate a need to gain all possible nutrients from this meal.

    “The unusually high frequencies of bites we found might be evidence of carnivores trying to scrounge up every available resource to survive rougher parts of the year,” Drumheller-Horton.

    Image: @John_Pickrell/Twitter


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