From the Daily Telegraph in England:
T. Rex graphic shows the dinosaur’s heavier shape
Scientists have used 3D lasers to scan the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and build up a picture of its shape.
From Discovery News:
Johnny Cash might have said, life wasn’t easy for a dinosaur named SUE. She grew up quick and she grew up mean, packing on nearly 4000 pounds a year as a teenager.
“We estimate they [Tyrannosaurs] grew as fast as 3,950 pounds per year (1790 kg) during the teenage period of growth, which is more than twice the previous estimate,” said John R. Hutchinson of The Royal Veterinary College, London in a press release.
Modeling the teenage growth spurts of an ancient mega-predator was made possible by comparing computer models of smaller, younger Tyrannosaurs with those of full grown adults, including the tyrant lizard queen, SUE, the largest T. rex skeleton yet discovered.
The new models also found that the 42 foot-long SUE may have been much heavier than earlier estimates. She tipped the scales at approximately 9 tons, according to the computer model.
“We knew she was big but the 30 percent increase in her weight was unexpected,” said co-author Peter Makovicky, curator of dinosaurs at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.
Shaggy T. Rex Cousin Was Heftiest Feathered Dino. This 3,086-pound tyrannosaur was no songbird, but a fierce hunter: here.
T. Rex’s killer smile revealed
Edmonton — One of the most prominent features of life-size, museum models of Tyrannosaurus rex, is its fearsome array of flesh-ripping, bone-crushing teeth.
Until recently most researchers only noted the varying size of T. rex’s teeth when they studied the carnivore’s smile.
But now a University of Alberta paleontologist has discovered that beyond the obvious difference in size of each tooth family, there is considerable variation in the serrated edges of the teeth.
These varying edges or keels not only enabled T.rex’s very strong teeth to cut through flesh and bone, the placement and angle of the teeth also directed food into its mouth.
U of A paleontologist Miriam Reichel analyzed the teeth of the entire tyrannosaurid family of meat eating dinosaurs and found T. rex had the greatest variation in tooth morphology or structure.
That dental specialization was a great benefit for a dinosaur whose preoccupation was ripping other dinosaurs apart.
Reichel concluded: T. rex’s front teeth were designed for gripping and pulling, while the teeth along the side of the jaw punctured and tore flesh, and teeth at the back of T. rex’s mouth not only did some slicing and dicing, they also forced food to the back of the throat.
Reichel says these findings and statistical support add strength to the classification of tyrannosaurids as heterodont animals, animals with teeth adapted for different functions depending on their position in the mouth. Reichel’s research was published in The Canadian Journal of Earth Science.
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Trophy for toughest bite may go to T. rex: The terrifying dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex may have had an even stronger bite than previously realized, scientists say.
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