Some dinosaurs that have been dealing with a resource-scarce atmosphere in present-day Colorado resorted to scavenging and probably cannibalism, a brand new examine confirmed.
In accordance with a examine revealed Wednesday within the journal PLOS ONE, tooth marks on fossil bones revealed the traditional beasts’ consuming habits, which probably included one sort of dinosaur turning to its personal type for meals.
Stephanie Drumheller, who works within the paleontology division on the College of Tennessee, Knoxville, and her colleagues discovered that just about 29 p.c of two,368 examined bones from the Mygatt-Moore Quarry of Colorado, which dates again to about 150 million years in the past, bore the bites of theropod dinosaurs.
The authors imagine that the majority of the bites have been probably made by the big predator Allosaurus, the commonest theropod discovered within the quarry, based mostly on the harm left by the serrated edges of the dinosaurs’ enamel.
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“Massive theropods like Allosaurus most likely weren’t notably choosy eaters, particularly if their environments have been already strapped for assets. Scavenging and even cannibalism have been positively on the desk,” Drumheller defined in a assertion.
In accordance with the researchers’ work, about 17 p.c have been bites that theropods had made on the bones of different theropods, and roughly half of these bites focused much less nutritious physique components, which suggests the motion of scavengers who arrived after the most effective bits had decomposed or been eaten by earlier carnivores.
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Since most of the presumed Allosaurus bites have been discovered on the bones of different Allosaurus dinosaurs, they might symbolize proof of dinosaur cannibalism, researchers stated.
The excessive incidence of scavenging might be the results of a harassed ecosystem whose massive predators suffered from a shortage of meals, in line with the examine.