Wednesday, May 22, 2013

T. Rex's Smaller Cousin Ate Like a Falcon, Study Finds


A smaller cousin of the Tyrannosaurus rex, called Allosaurus, may have fed on its prey in a fashion similar to modern-day falcons, a new study finds.

Researchers at Ohio University in Athens found that while a T. rex whips its head from side to side to gorge on its victims, the Allosaurus — a theropod that lived about 150 million years ago in the late Jurassic period — may have been a more dexterous hunter, using its neck and body to tug flesh from carcasses, the same way a falcon does.

"Apparently one size doesn't fit all when it comes to dinosaur feeding styles," Eric Snively, a paleontologist at Ohio University and lead author of the new study, said in a statement. "Many people think of Allosaurus as a smaller and earlier version of T. rex, but our engineering analyses show that they were very different predators." [Image Gallery: The Life of T. Rex]

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