Tyrannosaurs are one of the most recognizabledinosaurs - even people far from paleontology know how they looked. These creatures differed from other ancient predators in that they grew up to 6 meters, had powerful jaws and had two small paws on the front of the body. Why they needed tiny limbs, scientists still don’t know for sure, but they regularly share interesting suggestions. One would think that the front arms of tyrannosaurs are vestigial, that is, they have lost their usefulness - they could be like the wisdom teeth, coccyx and ear muscles in humans. However, judging by the remains, the muscles of these small arms were well pumped up and tyrannosaurs could lift objects weighing up to 100 kilograms with them. Let's take a look at the most interesting hypotheses about the functions of the tiny paws of tyrannosaurs, because scientists recently shared new thoughts on this topic.
It is important to note, that the ability of tyrannosaurs to raise up to 100kilograms of weight, not very impressive for scientists. Given that the body weight of the dinosaurs themselves often reached 8 tons, this is the same if an adult boasted of the ability to lift dumbbells weighing 1 kilogram.
Why do tyrannosaurs have short legs?
Some scholars still believe that shortthe paws of tyrannosaurs were needed in order to hold the victims during the hunt. In support of the veracity of this assumption are the results of studies in which wounds left by other animals were found on the limbs of predators. Could it be that tyrannosaurs really grabbed their prey in order to tear them apart more easily with powerful jaws? This is possible, but there is no conclusive evidence for this.
The second version says that short limbswere needed to hold the females during mating. But this assumption is less believed, because the front legs were too short for this. Besides, if this is true, why did the females need forelimbs? If the hypothesis were correct, only males would have them.
See also: Five of the most unusual dinosaurs discovered in 2021
The legs of tyrannosaurs shortened during evolution
Recently paleontologist Kevin Padianlooked at this question from a different angle. He began to look for an answer not to the question "why did the tyrannosaurs need short legs?", but asked the question "why did their legs become short"?
Before the advent of dinosaurs, they lived on our planetancestors. Judging by the remains, their front legs were much longer than those of their descendants - they have decreased in the course of evolution. The remains also hint at the fact that many tyrannosaurs led a herd lifestyle. A little higher, I noted that some of the bones have bite marks. But what if they were left not by animals that fell into the trap of tyrannosaurs, but by their relatives? After all, situations could well arise when tyrannosaurs entered into an internecine battle in order to bite off a tidbit from a captured beast.
The assumption sounds interesting and muchmore plausible than the previous hypotheses. At the moment, scientists want to study more tyrannosaur skeletons. If it turns out that early individuals have many lesions on the forelimbs, and as they decrease, their number and depth will decrease, the hypothesis may be one of the most truthful. Tyrannosaurs really needed protection from such injuries, because deadly infections could enter their bodies through injuries on the body. If scientists make an important discovery regarding this topic, we will definitely tell you about it - subscribe to us in the telegram.
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Interesting details about ancient tyrannosaursopen almost every year. For example, scientists recently found that several species of these predators could exist in the world at once. Three varieties of tyrannosaurs are called "emperors", "queens" and "kings". The first had wide femurs and had two incisors in the jaw. The second were characterized by thin hips and the presence of only one incisor. The third tyrannosaurs, in turn, had thick thighs and one incisor. You can read more about them in this material - if you are interested in paleontology, you will find many interesting facts in the article.