Field of Science

T. rex - carnivore or lowly herbivore?

Apparently some paleontologists think that finding a T. rex's tooth in the tail bones of another dinosaur weighs heavily on the side of those who think T. rex was a mighty carnivore rather than a scavenger of carcasses.  Well, you hate to disappoint them, but another find calls both views into question.  Here's a T. rex tooth deeply embedded in the seed cone of a cycad lending evidence to the much less popular hypothesis that T. rex was an herbivore whose teeth were adapted to prying open big seed cones like a can opener.  It will be hard to dismiss this idea completely with the evidence at hand.  So sorry fellows.  It stands to reason that at a time of mighty plants, the herbivores were mighty too.  Some of the large cycad seed cones were some of the most concentrated packages of food available in Jurassic Park, the concessions stand not withstanding.  But this is the way it is in science.  You have to go where the evidence points you.  Humility and an understanding of the scholarly process prevented the discoverer of T. rex herbivory from rushing off to the popular press with this long before it could be published in a scientific venue, but now that the "carnivorists" have jumped the gun, it seemed that a continued silence was being unduly modest. 


Anonymous said...

Dearest Phactor,

thanks for a very timely post. Fits in quite well with my theory of T.rex as the main pollinator of cycads.

..any sign of pollen in the grooves on that tooth?

Feel free to publish before me.


Anonymous said...

Do you have a citation? I'd like to read more.

Unknown said...

WORST PHOTOSHOP EVER, you can see a HUGE white area around the tooth

The Phytophactor said...

Fangs a lot.