Is Tyrannosaurus overrated?

Corvidius

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Jul 2017
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Crows nest
...and yet, another speculation:
Some raptors drop entire kills in their nests and share them with the young. A big T.rex kill could feed a T.rex for multiple days, plus a large amount of progeny (presuming parental care, of course). Not many T.rex's, right? Species with low success rate of young growing to adulthood tend to have large broods ... and in spite of that, typically only replace themselves in their lifetime. Think of frogs laying 100's of eggs over their lifetime, and only JUST replacing the adults when it's all said and done. So, there COULD have been lots of little T.rex tykes, sharing a kill, only to be snapped up by anything big enough to swallow them.
I think it's really difficult to say just how many eggs T.rex laid, but I would think due to the upper size limit on eggs, then many, and for the reasons you describe of hoping that enough survive to ensure species survival. It's still a little difficult to get a grip on this egg thing with dinosaurs, though of course they were very successful. A diminutive Kiwi laying one eye-wateringly huge egg, but an 80 ton Argentinasaurus laying eggs of about the same size, though without the eye-watering aspect. But it's the egg size limitation thing of course. We really, really do need to find a fossilized T. rex nest with embryos just about to hatch to see if they were altricial or precocial, for until we know that basic fact, then everything else is speculation and personal opinion. And mine, as I think I have already mentioned, is that they were altricial and needed care. This is often the case with predators, and I think we should compare T. rex to the majority of birds and even mammals, not crocodiles where they feed themselves even if the parent does give some protection. While at least the big sauropods could not possibly care for their young, which were hatched as precocial anyway, we see that hadrosaurs did care for their altricial young, and with a size differential between adult and young roughly the same as T. rex.

Though when we say adult, the reality will be that juveniles were of breeding age long before they reached full size. So probably most T. rex parents would have an easier time giving parental care as there was not such a vast gap in size. It's easier to see thirteen year old "Jane" feeding young than huge 28 year old "Sue". Of course a fully grown T.rex can reach it's snout down to ground level, but I really do find it difficult to visualize it actually feeding hatchlings. Then what food would they drop? could even a thirteen year old, and maybe younger, parent tear meat off prey in small enough portions. Did they regurgitate partially digested food, like penguins, and the same can be asked of hadrosaurs, did the parent feed the young with already chewed vegetation, I think probably.

So, as some completely unfounded speculation, what if juvenile T.rex, younger than breeding age and still comparatively small, acted as nest helpers, as some corvids, and fed the new generation. I have even seen eaglet siblings feeding each other, a change from trying to kill each other I guess, and I would presume that T.rex facial biting and kicking began in the nest. Btw, a study shows that some of the facial biting was not actually biting, but kicking, as the marks, and in some cases holes, do not match teeth but do match pedal claws. Lack of substantial arms makes T.rex much more birdlike, and birds kick, and not just flightless birds, eagles kick each other. Clearly just seeing a live T.rex would be mind blowing, but to see them kickboxing as well....
 
Last edited:
Mar 2017
862
Colorado
Then what food would they drop? could even a thirteen year old, and maybe younger, parent tear meat off prey in small enough portions. Did they regurgitate partially digested food, like penguins, and the same can be asked of hadrosaurs, did the parent feed the young with already chewed vegetation, I think probably.
Everyone knows most birds regurgitate for their young. Raptors start this way, but very quickly drop big chunks that the young must tear apart. Once a carcass is "opened" it's relatively easy for immature offspring to tear things apart from the inside, as long as they have the right dentition or sharp beaks.

Whether young tagged along, were part of pack strategy, or stayed in a nesting area, once they got big enough to hop around, I'll bet T.rex young could tear things apart if they weren't moving too much and the tough hide was breached.

Africa is really, really interesting from a specialization point of view. I recall there's 4-6 different species of vultures that feed in sequence. Only one kind has a beak that can tear through a water buffalo or rhino hide: it feeds first. The last ones to feed are the really ugly ones with bald heads and long naked necks that can penetrate deep into a carcass (no feathers so it's easier to clean off by rubbing in dirt). All of them gather at the carcass at the same time, and hop around impatiently waiting for their turn.

Anyway, my point is that if a parent T.rex tore something off a kill, that would make it suitable for ambulatory young (IMHO).

There's another thing to speculate on. Raptors lay 2-3 eggs ... that usually hatch at different times. The first one to hatch will push the others out of the nest. If two hatch at the same time, they fight until one dies or gets pushed out: the parents have much less of a chore making sure the one nestling survives. T.rex could be self-limiting, too ... cannibalizing nestmates. Like you say, it's all up in the air until a T.rex nest is found.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,305
Brassicaland
Everyone knows most birds regurgitate for their young. Raptors start this way, but very quickly drop big chunks that the young must tear apart. Once a carcass is "opened" it's relatively easy for immature offspring to tear things apart from the inside, as long as they have the right dentition or sharp beaks.

Whether young tagged along, were part of pack strategy, or stayed in a nesting area, once they got big enough to hop around, I'll bet T.rex young could tear things apart if they weren't moving too much and the tough hide was breached.

Africa is really, really interesting from a specialization point of view. I recall there's 4-6 different species of vultures that feed in sequence. Only one kind has a beak that can tear through a water buffalo or rhino hide: it feeds first. The last ones to feed are the really ugly ones with bald heads and long naked necks that can penetrate deep into a carcass (no feathers so it's easier to clean off by rubbing in dirt). All of them gather at the carcass at the same time, and hop around impatiently waiting for their turn.

Anyway, my point is that if a parent T.rex tore something off a kill, that would make it suitable for ambulatory young (IMHO).

There's another thing to speculate on. Raptors lay 2-3 eggs ... that usually hatch at different times. The first one to hatch will push the others out of the nest. If two hatch at the same time, they fight until one dies or gets pushed out: the parents have much less of a chore making sure the one nestling survives. T.rex could be self-limiting, too ... cannibalizing nestmates. Like you say, it's all up in the air until a T.rex nest is found.
Raptors can mean birds of prey or a type of dinosaurs; what do you mean here?
 
Mar 2017
862
Colorado
Raptors can mean birds of prey or a type of dinosaurs; what do you mean here?
Sorry. In every case where I use the word "raptor" I meant modern birds of prey (Falconiformes and Accipitriformes). In terms of nesting behavior (first born terminating rivals), I mean the big eagles & hawks. Owls don't seem to have a problem with large broods, but very quickly just drop whole rodents in the nest for the young to tear up. That was my point: whole chunks of leftovers are suitable for the young of birds of prey ... and possibly T.rex young.

I had "forgotten" that the modern term is applied to dinos like Velociraptor & Deinonychus. I honestly don't know the origin of Velociraptor, but I "suspect" it was the modern term applied to dinos. Isn't there something about raptor's having a killer claw?

Typically, birds of prey kill with their talons. Big eagles land on the backs of prey and drive their talons through the back. They "walk" up the spine doing this until the prey stops moving. They're wicked looking beaks are strictly for tearing apart dead prey. For some reason, eagles are fond of ribs (which they can snip off) and eagle kills are often missing ribs.
 

Corvidius

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Jul 2017
2,551
Crows nest
Birds of prey are raptors twice over. They were named raptors for their grasping talons of course. But they, as all birds, are also part of the family of theropod dinosaurs called maniraptors, so called for the grasping claws on their hands. Maniraptor = hand stealer/thief/grabber. The sickle claw on those non avian theropod dinosaurs that are usually termed raptors, belongs not to the maniraptors as a whole, but only to a group that are often called Deinonychosaurs. This encompasses the Dromaeosaurs, with members such as Deinonychus and Velociraptor, and the Troodontids, with members such as Troodon and Mei long. Though modern raptors do not have the sickle claw, the way they use their talons is a little similar in that they can not only grab the prey, but also puncture it. There is no proof, but it is thought that the way that modern raptors set about their prey and "mantle" with their wings, is an ancestral trait and may also have been used by some of their Deinonychosaur cousins, or ancestors if birds are a branch of troodonts, which is debatable. I don't find it too much a stretch of the imagination to visualize a Troodon standing over a small mammal or lizard it has caught, with it's feathered arms covering the animal while it sticks it's sickle claw into it. Quite vampire like really I guess. With larger raptors such as Velociraptor hunting larger prey, like Protoceratops, a more direct approach was certainly used, with the "Fighting dinosaurs" fossil showing serious combat with the prey fighting back.
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,551
Crows nest
The perpetuation of errors about T.rex

Steve Brusatte, in his latest book, The Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs, has made a basic and huge error about the brain of T.rex. He has failed to convert REQ into EQ, and has given T.rex an EQ of between 2.0 and 2.4, and has clearly stated that this makes T.rex smarter than cats and dogs and roughly as smart as a chimp. He has become a prominent voice in "Dinoworld", both in publications and TV documentaries, so this error is going to be accepted as fact by many people and become a genuine overestimation of T.rex.
 

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