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T. Rex teens fought some serious battles with each other

Washington, Tue, 03 Nov 2009 ANI

Washington, November 3 (ANI): In a new research, scientists have found evidence which indicates that adolescent tyrannosaurs got into some serious fights with each other.


The evidence was found by researchers from Northern Illinois University and the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford.


The evidence can be found on Jane, the museum's prized juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex, discovered in 2001 in Montana.


Jane's fossils show that she sustained a serious bite that punctured through the bone of the dinosaur's left upper jaw and snout in four places, the researchers report.


The injury wasn't life threatening and eventually healed over, according to the scientists. The bite did leave scars, however.Jane has what we call a boxer's nose," said Joe Peterson, an NIU Ph.D. candidate in geology and lead author of the study. "Her snout bends slightly to the left. It was probably broken and healed back crooked," he added.


The researchers determined that another juvenile tyrannosaur was responsible for the injury.


"When we looked at the jaw and teeth of Jane, we realized her bite would have produced a very close match to the injuries on her own face," Peterson said.


"That leads us to believe she was attacked by a member of the same species that was about the same age. Because the wound had healed, we think this happened when Jane was possibly a few years younger," he added.


"What's unique about this work is we learn something very, very specific about juvenile dinosaur behavior," said NIU Presidential Research Professor Reed Scherer.


"This was an animal about the same size that attacked Jane. Whether it was a sibling or from a rival group, we don't know, but it's fun to speculate," he added.


The sex of Jane, who was named after a museum donor, is unknown.


The dinosaur was young when it died, but the Burpee Museum's display leaves no doubt that it was still a creature to be reckoned with.


Twenty-two feet long and 7-1/2 feet high at the hip, the young dinosaur tipped the scales at about 1,500 pounds. And it was built to kill, with 71 serrated teeth.


Still, Jane was vastly smaller than an adult T. rex.


After much study and consultation with leading U.S. dinosaur experts, Henderson, who led the Montana expeditions, announced in 2006 that Jane was a late juvenile T. rex, about 11 or 12 years old.


"The study of the bite marks on Jane's face demonstrates that even at a young age this dinosaur was engaging in some pretty serious combat," Peterson said. (ANI)



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