The Cretaceous period was a tyrannosaur-eat-tyrannosaur world. Bite marks from before and after death scar the skull of an ancient tyrannosaur called Daspletosaurus, researchers report April 9 in PeerJ.
Paleontologists identified a fossilized skull and jaw as that of a teenage Daspletosaurus, a cousin to Tyrannosaurus rex. Some pre- and postmortem marks on the bones correspond to bite marks — big enough to come from the teeth of a Daspletosaurus or another tyrannosaur. The marks could be evidence of both combat and cannibalism, the scientists conclude.
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It’s not unheard of for tyrannosaurs to fight or eat each other, but understanding the prevalence of such behavior lends insight into the extinct reptiles’ ecology.