Dinosaur Defenses, or, Damn, Ancient Nature, You Scary

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Wired‘s gallery of recent dinosaur anatomy discoveries is proof that despite the age of its subject, there’s still plenty for paleontologists to do; whether its creating scale models of triceratops skulls to figure out how the animals would have fought with each other, or making replica dromaeosaur teeth to test jaw strength.

The gallery also has some captivating tidbits of ‘saur lore, such as:

  • Tyrannosaurs could toss more than one hundred pounds of meat sixteen feet in the air to reposition it before swallowing it.

  • Dromaeosaurids, which any child of the nineties would call a raptor, in addition to agile forelimbs and razor clawed feet, also had a bite strength comparable to an adult alligator, capable of puncturing bone.  The point is: you are alive when they start to ea– wait, where was I?
  • Far from being covered in durable, protective bone, some species of ankylosaur may have been wearing parade armor, if you catch my meaning; used more for “competitive posturing or identifying members of the same species.”
  • “Identifying members of the same species,” not defense or competitive sexual display, may have been the biggest reason behind the bizarrely diverse horn formations of ceratopsians.

You can view the entire gallery right here.

(image via Carnosauria.)


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