Bite-force estimation for Tyrannosaurus rex from tooth-marked bones

  title={Bite-force estimation for Tyrannosaurus rex from tooth-marked bones},
  author={Gregory M. Erickson and Samuel D. Van Kirk and Jinntung Su and Marc E. Levenston and W. E. Caler and Dennis R. Carter},
WHETHER tyrannosaurs occupied predatory or scavenging niches has been debated for nearly a century1–5. Palaeontologists have turned to the study of dental morphology to address this question, but the results have been highly disparate. Some contend that the tyrannosaur dentition was very strong and well suited for engaging and killing herbivorous dinosaurs6,7. Others posit that tyrannosaurs ate carrion, because their teeth and/or jaws would fail during struggles with prey2,3. The discovery of… 

Bite force estimates in juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex based on simulated puncture marks

Bite force estimates for a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex based on mechanical tests designed to replicate bite marks previously attributed to a T. rex of approximately 13 years old are presented and the implications for feeding mechanisms, feeding behaviors, and ontogenetic niche partitioning are discussed.


The intramandibular jaw joint is described and the first completely preserved and fused supradentary/coronoid bones in three different tyrannosaurids are found, leading to a rigid lower jaw in tyrannosaurusids that is a secondary specialization for a powerful crushing bite.

A Description of Deinonychus antirrhopus Bite Marks and Estimates of Bite Force using Tooth Indentation Simulations

ABSTRACT We report the discovery of a specimen of Tenontosaurus tilletti from the Cloverly Formation that bears lesions we interpret as bite marks of Deinonychus antirrhopus. Some of the bite marks

The Biomechanics Behind Extreme Osteophagy in Tyrannosaurus rex

It is shown that bone pulverization was made possible through a combination of prodigious bite forces and tooth pressures promoting crack propagation in bones, and repetitive, localized biting, which allowed T. rex to finely fragment bones and more fully exploit large dinosaur carcasses for sustenance relative to competing carnivores.

Bone-Breaking Bite Force of Basilosaurus isis (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Late Eocene of Egypt Estimated by Finite Element Analysis

Bite marks suggest that the late Eocence archaeocete whale Basilosaurus isis fed upon juveniles of the contemporary basilosaurid Dorudon atrox, and the whale’s bite forces match those estimated for pliosaurus when skull lengths are equalized, suggesting similar tradeoffs of bite function and hydrodynamics.

A tyrannosaur jaw bitten by a confamilial: scavenging or fatal agonism?

This specimen provides the best evidence for aggressive peri- or post-mortem confamilial interaction among tyrannosaurs and corroborates previous studies based on inferred tooth marks.

Feeding traces attributable to juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex offer insight into ontogenetic dietary trends

Comparisons reveal that the tooth marks present on the vertebra closely match the maxillary teeth of a late-stage juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex specimen histologically determined to be 11–12 years of age, demonstrating that late- stage juvenile and subadult tyrannosaurs were already utilizing the same large-bodied food sources as adults despite lacking the bone-crushing abilities of adults.


ABSTRACT A recently discovered tyrannosaurid metatarsal IV (SWAU HRS13997) from the uppermost Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Lance Formation is heavily marked with several long grooves on its cortical

Craniocervical feeding dynamics of Tyrannosaurus rex

The results indicate that adult T. rex could strike rapidly at prey and engage in complexly modulated inertial feeding, as seen in extant archosaurs.

Maximum Bite Force and Prey Size of Tyrannosaurus rex and Their Relationships to the Inference of Feeding Behavior

This analysis establishes boundary conditions for possible predator/prey relationships among other dinosaurs, as well as between these two taxa, and shows that adult Triceratops horridus fall well within the size range of potential prey that are predicted to be available to a solitary, predaceous T. rex.



Seed-breaking forces exerted by orang-utans with their teeth in captivity and a new technique for estimating forces produced in the wild.

Orang-utans (Pongo pygmaeus) at the Singapore Zoological Gardens were presented with two thick-shelled edible seeds, Mezzettia parviflora (Annonaceae) and Macadamia ternifolia (Proteaceae) in order

Cranial strength in relation to estimated biting forces in some mammals

Whether the bending strength of the skull in some mammals correlates with the maximal loads imposed through the masticatory apparatus is examined, using the methods of beam theory.

The Serrated Teeth of Tyrannosaurid Dinosaurs, and Biting Structures in Other Animals

  • W. Abler
  • Environmental Science
  • 1992
The teeth of at least some reptiles are as rich in information as the teeth of any mammals, and the fine neural control necessary to operate them may have formed the basis for the later development of intelligence in mammals.

Vertebral Development in the Oldest Microsaur and the Problem of “Lepospondyl” Relationships

A newly discovered specimen of the oldest known microsaur, Utaherpeton, shows evidence that its caudal vertebrae may have developed via paired pleurocentral elements, demonstrating evidence that few derived features are shared by all the major groups of lepospondyls.

Estimates of forces exerted by the jaw muscles of some reptiles

Masses and muscle fibre lengths have been determined for the jaw muscles of Chrysemys (Chelonia). Varanus (Lacertilia) and Caiman (Crocodilia). Hence the force that each muscle can exert has been

An azhdarchid pterosaur eaten by a velociraptorine theropod

Tooth-marked bones are more common in the fossil record than published accounts would lead us to believe, but with rare exceptions, the animals that made the marks cannot be identified. A partial s...

Why and How: Some Problems and Methods in Historical Biology

(partial) The fossil record Morphology, homology, and function Paleoecology and faunal analysis Systematics and taxonomy Some bits of biometry Biogeography Index

Skeletal biomineralization : patterns, processes, and evolutionary trends

This book should be of interest to teachers, students and researchers in paleontology, biology, evolutionary biology, zoology and cell biology.