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Author Topic: Tyrannosaurus  (Read 3163 times)
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2007, 01:47:03 pm »

Feeding strategies

Most debate about Tyrannosaurus centers on its feeding patterns and locomotion. One paleontologist, noted hadrosaur expert Jack Horner, claims that Tyrannosaurus was exclusively a scavenger and did not engage in active hunting at all.[40] Horner has only presented this in an official scientific context once, while mainly discussing it in his books and in the media. His hypothesis is based on the following: Tyrannosaurs have large olfactory bulbs and olfactory nerves (relative to their brain size). These suggest a highly developed sense of smell, allegedly used to sniff out carcasses over great distances. Tyrannosaur teeth could crush bone, a skill perhaps used to extract as much food (bone marrow) as possible from carcass remnants, usually the least nutritious parts. Since at least some of Tyrannosaurus's prey could move quickly, evidence that it walked instead of ran could indicate that it was a scavenger.[56][57]

Most scientists who have published on the subject since insist that Tyrannosaurus was both a predator and a scavenger, taking whatever meat it could acquire depending on the opportunity that was presented.[58] Modern carnivores such as lions and hyenas will often scavenge what other predators have killed, suggesting that tyrannosaurs may also have done so.[59]

Some other evidence exists that suggests hunting behavior in Tyrannosaurus. The ocular cavities of tyrannosaurs are positioned so that the eyes would point forward, giving the dinosaur binocular vision.[60] A scavenger might not need the advanced depth perception that stereoscopic vision affords; in modern animals, binocular vision is found primarily in predators.

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