Cannibalism in Giant Tyrannosaurs

BiologyPaleontology
DOI: 10.18258/0073
$3,029
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Funded on 3/25/13
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About This Project

This is the key question we hope to answer with this study. This project is to fund research into a skull of the carnivorous dinosaur Daspletosaurus (a close relative of Tyrannosaurus) which shows traces of biting from another, large carnivore, most likely another Daspletosaurus. Analysis of this exciting specimen will reveal which bite where made, where and how on the skull, and detailed comparisons to the skulls and teeth of other carnivorous dinosaurs from the area will allow the identity of the feeding animal. Study of the pattern of the bites and breaks can reveal how these bites were applied and thus how the scavenging animal had fed.

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What is the context of this research?

There is currently a great expansion in the research surrounding the behaviour of the carnivorous dinosaurs and the tyrannosaurs are at the forefront of this. Large tyrannosaurs have a unique combination of skull and tooth characters that means they likely hunted and fed in ways different to other carnivorous dinosaurs, but specimens like the one here are rare and we need to maximize the amount of information available with a careful study of both the patterns of bite marks and the data on how the fossil was preserved.

What is the significance of this project?

The main outcome of this project will be a description of the Daspletosaurus skull and the complex pattern of bites and breaks that represent the feeding traces. Detailed study of these marks, combined with information on the preservation of the skull will allow us to determine which species most likely fed on this carcass and how. This will provide information about the feeding behaviour of the scavenging animal and help piece together the ecological patterns of this ancient ecosystem.

What are the goals of the project?

The funds here will primarily be funding travel and accommodation costs to get Dr. Hone to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta, Canada. Secondly, funds will then be used to contribute to the costs of publishing the research into an Open Access journal to make the information as widely available as possible.

Budget

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The funds here will primarily be funding travel and accommodation costs to get Dr Hone to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta, Canada. Secondly, funds will then be used to contribute to the costs of publishing the research into an Open Access journal to make the information as widely available as possible. Any excess money will be donated to the Dinosaur Research Society that it can further fund other dinosaur-based research projects.

Meet the Team

David Hone
David Hone
Paleontologist

Affiliates

Dr. David Hone is a researcher and British paleontologist at the University of Bristol specializing in dinosaurs and pterosaurs. He has a degree in zoology, a masters in taxonomy, and a PhD in palaeontology. Over the past few years, Dr. Hone has spent time working in Germany, Mexico, China, and Ireland.
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Team Bio

I’m a vertebrate palaeontologist working in London. Over the last few years I’ve worked in Ireland, Mexico, Germany, Japan and especially China. My work focuses on the behaviour and ecology of the dinosaurs and the flying reptiles, the pterosaurs. I have been working on the carnivorous habits for some years now and have produced a series of papers based on the patterns of bite marks left by these animals which can be used to reconstruct their behaviour. My work has also included naming a number of new dinosaur and pterosaur species including Zuchengtyrannus – a giant tyrannosaur from eastern China and close relative of Tyrannosaurus and the unusual herbivorous dinosaur Limusaurus.

In addition to my research I do a lot of scientific outreach work, writing on blogs and building websites to help communicate with the public as well as doing talks and events. I’m committed to breaking down the barriers between the public and research and I hope that Microryza can help push this further by getting people more directly involved.

David Hone

I’m a vertebrate palaeontologist working in London. Over the last few years I’ve worked in Ireland, Mexico, Germany, Japan and especially China. My work focuses on the behaviour and ecology of the dinosaurs and the flying reptiles, the pterosaurs. I have been working on the carnivorous habits for some years now and have produced a series of papers based on the patterns of bite marks left by these animals which can be used to reconstruct their behaviour. My work has also included naming a number of new dinosaur and pterosaur species including Zuchengtyrannus – a giant tyrannosaur from eastern China and close relative of Tyrannosaurus and the unusual herbivorous dinosaur Limusaurus.

In addition to my research I do a lot of scientific outreach work, writing on blogs and building websites to help communicate with the public as well as doing talks and events. I’m committed to breaking down the barriers between the public and research and I hope that Microryza can help push this further by getting people more directly involved.


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