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T.rex: Hunter or scavenger?

2

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  • I would say that he was both. Also, the younger t-rexes seemed to have longer legs than the parents.. Perhaps suggesting they were used to chase prey towards the larger parent, who could then finish the job. I would imagine a T-rex family worked together as a single unit in a small pack. It was IMO a hunter first, scavenger second.




  • Yes. T.rex skeletons have been found together, younger and older, thought to be family, mother and children. And yes, the young do have longer legs, so maybe they did hunt, and the adults finish the job, but until we find evidence, we will just have to believe what we think is right =].;):rolleyes::cool:




  • Otherwise the T.Rex was a scavanger, and, given its size, would easly get a meal of of small, more capable hunters, such as the velocirapter, which is thought to have hunted in packs.

    Seems like a waste of energy for T.rex to travel all the way over to Mongolia to steal Velociraptor's dinner.




  • guh... Yeah, i am stupid, brain was numb, O.o why do i not sleep.... Sorry, i was just using an example.:eek:




  • The T.Rex, as proven on many documentries...

    Let me just stop you there... documentaries are the second last place you look for proof of anything. The very last is tabloid newspapers.


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  • Let me just stop you there... documentaries are the second last place you look for proof of anything. The very last is tabloid newspapers.

    Hence my problem with the documentary 'Valley of the T.rex' with its one sided message of "OMFG T.rex was a complete scavenger!!!" when earlier research (which was subsequently ignored for the sake of shock value to sell the documentary) indicated that it was capable of hunting.




  • Terminator wrote: »
    Just look at the cheetah chasing the antelope - 9 times out of ten the antelope gets away to fight another day.


    The cheetah is one of the most successful predators on earth and by far the most successful cat - 50% of chases result in a kill.




  • Well, looks like it was virtually impossible for T. rex to get the fuel it needed from scavenging alone:
    http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/dinosaur/2011/01/for-t-rex-scavenging-was-a-tough-gig/

    dinosaur-abundance.jpg




  • In my opinion, T rex was a hunter/scavenger, would be ridiculous to think that any predator would pass a free meal.




  • who did Did T-Rex compete with for food?

    or depending on what you believe - who was the top predator making the kills in the same region as T-Rex.

    & who did T-Rex compete for carrion?


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  • Of the top of my head...
    As far as 'proper' (excluding small insect hunters) carnivores go the habitat contained:
    Dromaeosaurus
    Troodon
    Chirostenotes (or something very like it, a medium-large relative of Oviraptor
    Nanotyrannus (assuming it was distinct from Tyrannosaurus

    (I'm just gonna merge this thread with the scavenger debate thread. The forum is getting fairly tyrannosaur heavy)




  • People have to look at this objectively, the dinosaurs that the rex would have hunted were all very slow movers in comparison to it.

    I mean it would take one lethal bite to the spine of a huge herbivore to incapacitate it, then the rex would simply watch as it bled to death.




  • People have to look at this objectively, the dinosaurs that the rex would have hunted were all very slow movers in comparison to it.

    I mean it would take one lethal bite to the spine of a huge herbivore to incapacitate it, then the rex would simply watch as it bled to death.


    While you are indeed correct about the incapacitating bite (T. rex's jaws could crack through bone), the dinosaurs of the time were apparently much faster than once thought - particularly the seemingly defenseless hadrosaurs.

    T. rex apparently was too.

    PS: Hello and welcome to the forum!




  • Its possible that a T-rex could ambush its prey, hide among some trees & spring out as they pass by. if it took an animal by surprise,
    it might not have to run too far, just a short burst of speed, Aligators and Crocs are like this - short fast powerful burst of energy but they get tired quickly. The shape of Tyrannosaurs skull indiates their brain was similar in shape to a Croc's brain - its possible they might hunt like this & scavenge when they can




  • Its possible that a T-rex could ambush its prey, hide among some trees & spring out as they pass by. if it took an animal by surprise,
    it might not have to run too far, just a short burst of speed, Aligators and Crocs are like this - short fast powerful burst of energy but they get tired quickly. The shape of Tyrannosaurs skull indiates their brain was similar in shape to a Croc's brain - its possible they might hunt like this & scavenge when they can

    I'm pretty sure that's the general consensus alright. If that link I posted in my last post is anything to go by (it's endorsed by the top tyrannosaur experts so I'd say it's quite sound) it would be capable of a very fast dash, but it was certainly no marathon runner. In fact, the conclusion is basically what you've said in your post there. Good summary sir. :)




  • Its possible that a T-rex could ambush its prey, hide among some trees & spring out as they pass by. if it took an animal by surprise,
    it might not have to run too far, just a short burst of speed, Aligators and Crocs are like this - short fast powerful burst of energy but they get tired quickly. The shape of Tyrannosaurs skull indiates their brain was similar in shape to a Croc's brain - its possible they might hunt like this & scavenge when they can

    Hmm maybe.

    If indeed the T.rex is more of a plodding animal as per the article above, that means it would have been crouched quite a lot. This proves the theory that it could have been a stealth hunter, this coupled with the T.rexs' short arms further the ideas that it could have been a hunter as well as scavenger whenever situation dictates.




  • As I'm not a palaeontologist, I rely on Discovery channel for my information.

    If they say T Rex is a fierce hunter, I believe them.

    If they later say T Rex was a bird like creature who scavenged, then I believe them.

    If they say that T Rex was probably a lazy hunter and could only catch snacks, but scared away packs of smaller predators who had brought down a big meal and he'd steal it, I'd believe them.




  • gbee wrote: »
    As I'm not a palaeontologist, I rely on Discovery channel for my information.

    If they say T Rex is a fierce hunter, I believe them.

    If they later say T Rex was a bird like creature who scavenged, then I believe them.

    If they say that T Rex was probably a lazy hunter and could only catch snacks, but scared away packs of smaller predators who had brought down a big meal and he'd steal it, I'd believe them.

    Discovery be thy god. :pac:




  • gbee wrote: »
    As I'm not a palaeontologist, I rely on Discovery channel for my information.

    If they say T Rex is a fierce hunter, I believe them.

    If they later say T Rex was a bird like creature who scavenged, then I believe them.

    If they say that T Rex was probably a lazy hunter and could only catch snacks, but scared away packs of smaller predators who had brought down a big meal and he'd steal it, I'd believe them.


    but would you believe a movie if they said its Vision was based on movement? ;)




  • but would you believe a movie if they said its Vision was based on movement? ;)

    I love the part in the novel of The Lost World where they reveal that the 'vision based on movement' idea is incorrect. Turns out the T. rex could see just fine. It just hadn't yet identified Grant et all as prey yet.

    I'm going to quote Jack Horner (making a pact with the devil?):
    "Even if he couldn't see ya, he could sure as hell smell ya!"


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  • Whatever T. Rex was it was very successful. So I am not sure that it actually matters what it prefered in eating, it survived until the great extinction, and many other related species around the world survived equally as well.

    Put it this way, the Great white shark a successful modern predator, does it scavange or hunt? It does both, and it is a successful strategy. T.Rex probably did that too, it had the capabilities as far as we know to do so.




  • Strangely, after posting I watched a tv show about this very subject last night.

    Triceratopsian remains have been found with T.Rex bites on them that have partially healed indicating the Triceratops was hunted down...(but survived)

    If it survived the attack then it was obviously alive when T.Rex went after it. IE it hunted.

    But there is no reason to say it didn't scavenge too. (Maybe like the Komodo dragon does???)




  • If you look at modern day animals there is virtually no land based carnivore of reasonable size that does not do a mixture of both. A little known fact is that hyenas hunt more oten than lions do and that lions scavenge from hyena kills more often than is the reverse! (suddenly the Lion King doesn't look so black and white)
    Even the lowly vulture has been known to kill small and/or heavily injured/sick animals.




  • Looks like Jack horner is trolling the forum again :p
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110222140550.htm

    The ferocious Tyrannosaurus rex has been depicted as the top dog of the Cretaceous, ruthlessly stalking herds of duck-billed dinosaurs and claiming the role of apex predator, much as the lion reigns supreme in the African veld.

    But a new census of all dinosaur skeletons unearthed over a large area of eastern Montana shows that Tyrannosaurus was too numerous to have subsisted solely on the dinosaurs it tracked and killed with its scythe-like teeth.

    Instead, argue paleontologists John "Jack" Horner from the Museum of the Rockies and Mark B. Goodwin from the University of California, Berkeley, T. rex was probably an opportunistic predator, like the hyena in Africa today, subsisting on both carrion and fresh-killed prey and exploiting a variety of animals, not just large grazers.

    "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, curator of paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont., and Regents Professor at Montana State University. "This says that T. rex is not a cheetah, it's not a lion. It's more like a hyena."





  • marco_polo wrote: »
    Looks like Jack horner is trolling the forum again :p



    So Horner thinks it is now more like a hyena than a Lion?


    Well by saying that, he is saying it is more of a hunter than a scavenger as the hyena scavange less than lions do. ;)




  • How the hell can Jack the quack still stand by this scavenger notion when every slab of data by every other scientist in the business shows that it is simply not the case?
    Like Kess said, Horner has overlooked the fact that hyenas kill more of their food than lions do. Ad hyenas to the list of things Jack Horner knows diddly squat about.
    Honorary paleontologist my ass!

    edit: haven't read the article in full yet. Will do after dinner so I can dismember it.




  • Was watching a documentaryon Discovery the other evening, it was about pack behaviour in predators and it seems from fossil evidence that most if not all of the big predators of the dino period were likely to act in packs of one sort or another, the example used were T.rex (and related species) and Giganotosaurus (excuse spelling on that one) the large South American predator. They looked at fossile evidence that not only shows these creatures in family groups but also the prey. Sauropods were not safe from a pack apparently, although T.Rex could not crunch through the massive bones of a sauropod. Method of killing SEEMS to be lots of biting until prey died from blood loss (or infection as in Komodo dragon). Saropods it is surmised could not fight back against a pack, nor run away fast enough to escape.

    It was on Discovery as I said, so I have no idea how accurate this is, but it does seem reasonable.








  • Where is the "I'm sure it was both" option?


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  • Sorry.

    Seeing that the poster took the time to pose the question and ask for an opinion, I suppose I'd better flesh that last post out.

    This is my opinion and I don't speak from any kind of authority, so here goes.

    From research online (yes that includes Youtube....) I understand that the marker for what an animal ate was in the type of teeth it evolved. Yes?
    Long thin, serrated teeth were best suited to carving flesh. If they hit bone, then byebye tooth. Those belonged to preditors whose prey was big and meaty.

    Thick spiked teeth were ment for crunching and crushing. I think this had to do with the fact that T-Rex main prey was a lot smaller and more armoured.

    Does this not also raise an interesting question:
    If your teeth break on striking bone, then you tend only to eat muscle tissue and organs, leaving most of the rest of the item intact(ish). If so then the opposite is true, if you have the teeth for crunching bone, then you also have the ability to eat more of the prey. So where does this bring us....

    If you have to survive on what food you can gather, then an important equasion comes into play. - Calories in Vs Calories out. - Just ask Bear Grylls (idiot). That equasion has never changed.

    So if a T-Rex came across a handy source of protien, which took no effort to attain, he ate it. If he came across a kill being eaten by another smaller preditor, he bullied it away, then ate it.
    But those two scenarios are as much a matter of chance than anything else, so in the interim, he hunted and we know he hunted.


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