Paleontologists said Thursday that they had discovered what amounted to a miniature prototype of Tyrannosaurus rex, complete with the oversize head, powerful jaws, long legs -- and, as every schoolchild knows, puny arms -- that were hallmarks of the king of the dinosaurs.
[Ed. note: "I have a big head...and little arms." Bwahahahaha!!!!!! i love that scene!]
So the discovery calls into question theories about the evolution of T. rex, which was about five times longer and almost 100 times heavier.
"The thought was these signature Tyrannosaur features evolved as a consequence of large body size," Stephen L. Brusatte of the American Museum of National History, an author of a paper describing the dinosaur published online by the journal Science, said at a news conference.
Dr. Holtz, who cautioned that the findings needed to be independently confirmed, noted that there had been a gap in the family tree between earlier, more primitive Tyrannosaurs that had relatively short legs and long arms and the later giants with opposite features. "This clarifies the sequence," he said.
Manning now believes that the claws were better suited to climbing trees than ripping open prey, with the Velociraptor waiting for prey to appear below them and then leaping down, hooking its claws into a hapless animal and delivering a killing blow with its powerful teeth.
If only i had known that before the Isle of Dread adventure.