In recent years there have been some pretty defamatory claims that the t-rex was just a scavenger and didn't hunt other live dinos. But now, thanks to a t-rex tooth found lodged in the tailbone of a duck-billed dinosaur that clearly lived for some time after the encounter, paleontologists now have some definitive proof that the t-rex did in fact attack live prey. Maybe just not very effectively.
Scrapes, bites and even dislodged T. rex teeth stuck in the bones of other dinosaur species are common, but there has previously been no way to know whether these bites were made while the prey was being actively attacked by a T. rex, or whether the animal had died in some other way and then been scavenged on by the toothy dinosaur.
The latest find is different because the T. rex tooth is surrounded by bone that clearly grew after the tooth became lodged there. The only way that such a situation could arise is if a T. rex had bitten the hadrosaur, lost its tooth in the hadrosaur's tail and then also lost its prey. In the weeks that followed the predation, the tail of the lucky hadrosaur healed up and bone regenerated around the predator's lodged tooth, the authors report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Man, if I was a mighty t-rex chasing something and it got away, I would be EMBARRASSED. Here I am, the mighty 'tyrant lizard' and I can't even kill a duck-billed dinosaur. You know what? I blame these crappy little arms. *shaking dinky little fingers at the heavens* THANKS FOR NOTHING, GOD! Seriously, you're lucky I don't come up there and -- wait, is that an asteroid?
Hit the jump for a shot of the ass tooth.
Thanks to Nathan P and Zach, who know what I like and stories about t-rex ass bitingd efinitely fits the bill.