Fossilised Footprints Suggest Tyrannosaurus Hunted In Packs

in science on (#3RN)
Recent scientific inquiry shows that the mighty Tyrannosaurus may have been inclined to hunt in packs, rather than going it alone. Adjacent track ways of tyrannosaurus footprints have been discovered (full text) that suggest that tyrannosaurids hunted in packs. The fossilised footprints show clear evidence that the animals travelled together, with all three tracks going in the same direction around the same time, suggesting that these dinosaurs may have been social, and not solitary, animals.
The skeletal record of tyrannosaurids is well-documented, whereas their footprint record is surprisingly sparse. There are only a few isolated footprints attributed to tyrannosaurids and, hitherto, no reported trackways. We report the world's first trackways attributable to tyrannosaurids, and describe a new ichnotaxon attributable to tyrannosaurids. These trackways are from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian - Maastrichtian) of northeastern British Columbia, Canada. One trackway consists of three tridactyl footprints, and two adjacent trackways consist of two footprints each. All three trackways show animals bearing southeast within an 8.5 meter-wide corridor. Similarities in depth and preservation of the tyrannosaurid tracks indicate that these three trackways were made by track-makers walking concurrently in the same direction. These trackways add significantly to previous osteology-based hypotheses of locomotion and behavior in Tyrannosauridae by providing ichnologic support for gregariousness in tyrannosaurids, and the first record of the walking gait of tyrannosaurids.

The original article is excellent, BTW. (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-25 21:36 (#2NA)

Very readable, unlike a lot of articles in specialized fields. And free, of course.
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