Latest Issue of Science News


Dinosaurs, party of six, meat eating

Traditionally, big meat eaters like Tyrannosaurus rex and Giganotosauris have been viewed as solitary eat-and-run types. Now, the discovery of a dino dinner party may reform the image of the carnivorous lifestyle.

Scientists found bones from six members of a new species of giant meat-eating dinosaur squished into the mud of a fossil bed in Patagonia. Over 40 feet long with knifelike, 4-inch-long teeth, these new carnivores may have been even bigger than Giganotosaurus, says paleontologist Philip J. Currie of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta.

Despite their fearsome size, the dinosaurs would have been dwarfed by the gargantuan plant eaters that roamed the Southern Hemisphere at the time. "One tiny, little 5-ton animal is going to have trouble taking down a 100-ton animal. It might need a little help," says Currie.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.