75 Million-Year-Old Fossil Reveals Teenage Tyrannosaur Feasted On Baby Dinos Before Dying

75 Million-Year-Old Fossil Reveals Teenage Tyrannosaur Feasted On Baby Dinos Before Dying

The fossil remains showed some of the two newborn dinosaurs' hind legs inside the tyrannosaur's stomach cavity.

Aditi ThakurUpdated: Tuesday, December 12, 2023, 04:59 PM IST
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75 million-year-old fossil has revealed exciting insights showing the eating patterns of Tyrannosaur | Rainmaker 1973/X

The latest study on a 75 million-year-old fossil has revealed exciting insights showing the eating patterns of the age-old carnivores. According to the BBC, Gorgosaurus, a teenage Tyrannosaur, feasted on two baby dinosaurs before dying. The fossil remains showed some of the two newborn dinosaurs' hind legs inside the tyrannosaur's stomach cavity.

Dr Darla Zelenitsky of the University of Calgary, the study's lead scientist and co-authors, said there is substantial evidence that tyrannosaurs' food altered substantially as they matured.

"This is the first time that stomach contents have been found inside the skeleton of a large species of tyrannosaur," said Darla Zelenitsky. "It is solid evidence that tyrannosaurs drastically changed their diet as they grew up."

The study was published in the journal Science Advances, and it revealed that the gorgosaurus was about seven years old and weighed 330 kilogrammes when it died. According to the researchers, baby tyrannosaurs preyed on small, young dinosaurs, while adults attacked and ate huge plant-eating dinosaurs that lived in herds.

In 2009, the fossil was initially found in Canada's Alberta Badlands. However, it was buried in rock. After many years, it was prepared for study.

The scientist explained, "We are now aware that these teenage (tyrannosaurs) hunted on small, young dinosaurs. These smaller, immature tyrannosaurs were probably not ready to join a group of horned dinosaurs, where adults weighed thousands of kilogrammes."

Following the research, the two infant dinosaurs belonged to the species Citipes elegans. The study also found that the two baby dinosaurs were less than a year old when the tyrannosaur hunted them down.

''Tyrannosaurs are these big predatory creatures that roamed Alberta and North America during the late Cretaceous,'' Zelenitsky added. "These were the iconic apex or top predators featured in films, novels, and museums. They could only walk on two legs and had very short arms," Zelenitsky concluded.

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