There are clues that Daspletosaurus, a member of the tyrannosaurs genus, practiced cannibalism based on new evidence from adolescent tyrannosaur remains, as seen here at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Paleontologists are carefully studying the skull to see the damage that was done and to try to determine how it was caused, ultimately with the goal of uncovering whether or not the Daspletosaurus, can indeed, be called a cannibal dinosaur.
Adolescent Daspletosaurus Remains Tell a Story of A Cannibal Dinosaur
The adolescent tyrannosaur remains show what happened prior to the dinosaur’s death. There are many gashes and deep bite marks all over the skull, as well as what is believed to be post-mortem bites on its jaws.
The Daspletosaurus was a tyrannosaur and also a theropod, meaning that it had large claws and three toes on its feet. Even if not a cannibal dinosaur, it was definitely a carnivore just like its cousin the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Despite the fact that these two cousins probably never met, this doesn’t mean that Daspletosaurus didn’t have competition. It regularly had territorial bouts and issues with the other supreme carnivore of the time, the Gorgosaurus. Both of these majestic dinosaurs were fantastic predators, eating whatever prey they caught, and scavenging anything left behind.
Past Daspletosaurus Findings
There are currently only specimens of Daspletosaurus that have been found in Alberta, Canada. However, there are many paleontologists trying to verify the identity of several fossils they have discovered in Montana to show that Daspletosaurus also lived further south than once believed.
When it comes to past Daspletosaurus findings, there were many specimens discovered by Charles M. Stenberg in 1922. However, he did not realize that these fossils belonged to a new species of dinosaur, and therefore claimed that they were Gorgosaurus fossils. In 1970, it was later discovered that these fossils indeed correlated to the existence of a new dinosaur, and thus, the Daspletosaurus was named.
When discussing the cannibalistic tendencies of these daunting beasts, which easily grew to be between 8 and 9 meters in length, it is possible that the adolescent tyrannosaur remains were scavenged by another Daspletosaurus or other carnivore. The cause of death was not clear; however, there were bite marks in the skull that had partially healed, indicating the specimen had been in a ferocious battle at a previous time. It is difficult to tell, but there are a lot of members of the scientific community that believe it the Daspletosaurus to be a cannibal dinosaur as the bite marks show that the teeth closely match those of another Daspletosaurus.
Where to See Daspletosaurus Fossils Today
When you want to go on an adventure to Canada and experience all of the great landscapes and culture this country has to offer, it is worth it to travel to the Canadian Museum of Nature as this where the adolescent tyrannosaur remains are housed. You can also see other specimens that have been recovered of this rare, possible cannibal dinosaur while on your visit, as part of their Talisman Energy Fossil Gallery. Whether or not these tyrannosaurs were cannibalistic, it is still an amazing find to recover these adolescent tyrannosaur remains, as seen here at Red Orbit, in such great condition and to be able to study them further.