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Thread: The "ideal carnivore" -- the dinosaur wth the very flexible skull and tearing teeth

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up The "ideal carnivore" -- the dinosaur wth the very flexible skull and tearing teeth

    The winner in the category of "ideal carnivore" ... once again ... is Tyrannosaurus rex.


    https://phys.org/news/2019-02-rex-un...ble-skull.html

    T. rex possessed a unique flexible skull
    February 6, 2019, Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum

    Senckenberg scientist Ingmar Werneburg, together with an international team, re-examined the skull structure of Tyrannosaurus rex. Using an "anatomical network analysis," the researchers showed that the carnivorous dinosaur had an extremely flexible skull structure. Different bone modules led to a highly flexible muzzle that aided in tearing apart prey animals. The study was published today in the journal Scientific Reports.

    ...The analysis revealed that, among all groups of animals analyzed in the study, the large carnivore possessed the highest number of "skull modules" – skull bones that form units with adjacent bones. This resulted in a particularly high mobility of the skull. "We were most surprised to discover the presence of separate upper and lower muzzle modules, which probably could move independent of each other," adds the scientist from Tübingen. The researchers hypothesize that the feeding habits of Tyrannosaurus rex may have led to the complexity of its skull. The division into a lower and an upper muzzle module may have provided a certain amount of flexibility to the tooth-bearing part of the muzzle that aided in the forceful tearing of prey animals. "This trait, combined with teeth anchored within tooth pockets and two large temporal fenestrae (openings) as attachment points for the strong jaw muscles, made T. rex the 'ideal carnivore,' adds Werneburg in summary.
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    That looks like a fine example of the fallacy of begging the question. Something that happens tediously often with T. rex research and reportage, for some reason.

    Grant Hutchison
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    Wouldn't an "ideal carnivore" have high intelligence, a relatively agile body, and the ability to craft projectile weapons and cutting tools? For example, a human.

    Humans killed mammoths, and some still kill whales. We could take down a dinosaur even without guns.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    That looks like a fine example of the fallacy of begging the question. Something that happens tediously often with T. rex research and reportage, for some reason.

    Grant Hutchison
    Exactly when one paleontologist says Rex was a scavenger while another say it was an opportunistic feeder.

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    Neither the words nor the images on that page tell me with any certainty what is supposed to be movable relative to what, other than the familiar hinged joint between the lower jaw and the skull. It certainly does not explain what sort of mechanical advantage there might be for tearing up a carcass. I would wish to see Dr. Werneberg personally illustrate what he is referring to. This looks like yet another unsatisfactory popular media account of a scientific research project.

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    Also, you have to note that it’s published in Scientific Reports. That’s a yellow flag right there.


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    Teleost fish also have articulated jaws that had a radical impact on the biology of the oceans. But Sharks have been around even longer that both teleost fish and dinosaurs and are probably the most effective predator, at least among large animals.

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    Another successful carnivore, though not quite as old as sharks, is crocodiles. They also outlasted T. Rex.


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    I wonder how controllable these modules were for t-rex.

    I think maybe a physiology that lead to a sharp tooth being 'dragged' through meat, might be more efficient at tearing up meat..

    Calling this an ideal carnivore doesn't seem to imply hunter or scavenger, it just mean they mainly ate meat.
    Formerly Frog march.

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