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Proc Biol Sci. 2003 Apr 7;270(1516):731-3.

Could Tyrannosaurus rex have been a scavenger rather than a predator? An energetics approach.

Author information

  • 1Division of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK. g.ruxton@bio.gla.ac.uk

Abstract

Arguments on whether Tyrannosaurus rex was likely to have been an active predator or a scavenger have been based on evidence from jaw morphology and/or dentition. Here, we adopt an entirely novel approach, using energetic arguments to estimate the minimum productivity that would be required for an ecosystem to support a scavenger of the size of T. rex. We argue that an ecosystem as productive as the current Serengeti would provide sufficient carrion for such a scavenger. Hence, T. rex need not have been an active predator and could have found sufficient food purely by scavenging.

PMID:
12713747
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1691292
Free PMC Article
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