Dinosaurs: we finally know why the T-Rex had such small arms

Dinosaurs: we finally know why the T-Rex had such small arms

One of the most fearsome predators of all time, T Rex fascinate paleontologists as much as the general public. We learn today that scientists have finally discovered why these dinosaurs have such small arms.

It’s not size that matters

Tyrannosaurs are, without a doubt, among the dinosaurs that the general public appreciates the most. These theropods, which reigned at the top of the food chain before their disappearance 66 million years ago, have been greatly popularized in particular thanks to Pop Culturewith works such as The lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle and the first two Jurassic Park by Steven Spielberg.

However, despite the passion it inspires, the T-Rex has often been mocked for its tiny arms, in view of its gigantic size. If you doubt it, we highly recommend reading our article on these 25 “tricks” that the T-Rex can’t do because of its small arms… But how to explain this? Because, as everyone knows, our physical characteristics are the result of natural selection, and therefore have evolutionary advantages. What can be the advantage of having such short arms? University of California paleontologist Kevin Padian seems to have found an explanation for this mystery.

Recent research by a team of scientists from the University of Arkansas found that T-Rex were not solitary hunters, but rather hunted in packs, like wolves or hyenas. This research, made from analyzes of Utah fossils, reporting a synchronous death of four to five T-Rex, seem to confirm observations made twenty years ago by a Canadian teambut which had not created consensus among scientists, some doubting the cognitive abilities of T-Rex to hunt in groups, this type of hunting requiring the ability to form complex social bonds.

From this research, which has completely redefined the way scientists perceive the behavior of these fearsome predators, the Californian paleontologist has hypothesized about the smallness of the arms of the T-Rex. According to him, their size is indeed an evolutionary advantage, sinceit prevented the Tyrannosaurs from tearing each other apart during the hunt.

Indeed, if four or five T-Rex devoured the same prey with their huge jaws, an accident could quickly happen. Thus injured, the dinosaur could then die from its injuries. (hemorrhage, infections, etc.). As our colleagues from the magazine remind us Geo, it is not uncommon for large reptiles to injure each other by eating the same victim: this is the case with Komodo dragons and crocodiles. Thereby, over time, the arms of the tyrannosaurs would have shrunk, in order to avoid any accident.

Given this assumption, we will think twice before making fun of the size of the arms of the T-Rex again… If you liked this article, don’t hesitate to take a look at this absolutely terrifying new species of theropods !


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