Bite Marks

Article | Updated 10 years ago

Fossil bones of Cretaceous dinosaurs sometimes have bite marks inflicted by theropods which can tell us about how these predators fed.

Most of these bite marks are the result of kills or scavenging. In rare cases, the attacked dinosaur survived long enough for new bone growth to occur. Bite marks are not only found on the bones of herbivorous species but also on theropod bones. For example, skulls of tyrannosaurs are often found with bite marks inflicted by other tyrannosaurs.

Feeding habits

The pattern and distribution of bite marks reveal clues about the hunting techniques and feeding habits of predators. Tyrannosaurus rex hunted mainly hadrosaurs and Triceratops which was one of the largest and most dangerous of the horned dinosaurs. New research suggests that, after killing a Triceratops, T. rex often ripped its head off, perhaps to gain access to the extensive neck muscles.

Tyrannosaurus rex attacking a Triceratops

Tyrannosaurus rex attacking a Triceratops