T-Rex was wily, not fearsome predator

February 23rd, 2011 - 3:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 23 (IANS) T-Rex was more of an opportunistic feeder as wily as a hyena, rather than the fearsome predator of popular and cinematic imagination.Paleontologists John “Jack” Horner, curator from the Museum of the Rockies, and Mark B. Goodwin from the University of California-Berkeley, described T-Rex as an opportunistic predator, like the hyena in Africa today.

A new census of all dinosaur skeletons unearthed over a large area of eastern Montana, US, shows that T-Rex was too numerous to have subsisted solely on the dinosaurs it tracked and killed with its scythe-like teeth, the journal Public Library of Science One reports.

It subsisted on both carrion and fresh-killed prey, exploiting a variety of animals, not just large grazers, according to a statement of the University of California.

“In our census, T-Rex came out very high, equivalent in numbers to Edmontosaurus, which many people had thought was its primary prey,” said Horner, also professor at the Montana State University.

The dinosaur census in the Hell Creek Formation of Montana - that dates from 65-95 million years ago - was begun in 1999 by Horner and Goodwin.

-St/pg/vt

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