Skip to comments.Researchers say fossil with tooth proves T. rex was predator
Posted on 07/31/2013 1:34:41 AM PDT by imardmd1
Was Tyrannosaurus rex a predator or scavenger? The question has been a point of controversy in the scientific community for more than a century.
"You see 'Jurassic Park,' and you see T. rex as this massive hunter and killer, as incredibly vicious. But scientists have argued for 100 years that he was too big and too slow to hunt prey and that he was probably a scavenger, an animal that feeds only on dead things," University of Kansas paleontologist David Burnham said.
Burnham and researcher Robert DePalma got what Burnham described as his "lucky break" when they found the fossil of a duckbill dinosaur's tail with a tooth in it.
"The features of the tooth are like fingerprints, and we were able to identify it as T. rex," he said.
They took the fossil to be analyzed at the University of Kansas and for a CT scan at the local hospital, where the doctor told them, "It's too late for your patient."
But Burnham was thrilled at what the fossilized bones told him about the life of the duckbill.
"We were giddy like schoolkids," he said. "This now returns T. rex as a predator. So the monsters that we see in dinosaurs are real. They did go chasing after things, kill them and eat them. They actively pursued live prey."
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
Several years ago, Dr. Jobe Martin, professor of dentistry at Baylor University, studied the T. Rex teeth, and concluded that this dinosaur could not be a carnivore for the very reason that its tooth imbedment in the jaw was far too structurally weak to sustain the stresses generated in ripping live flesh and bone apart.
He further suggested that the sharp tooth blades were perfectly formed for stripping leaves and fruit, vegetative matter that would yield to the shallow retentive placement in the T. Rex's jawbone without destroying it.
My thought is that this is exactly what these observers have found! The T. Rex's tooth was broken off in what might have been a fight over foodstuff with the duckbill competitor.
In any case, the two investigators have allowed their confidence in their logic to override the lack of certainty of how this damage to the T. Rex happened. That is, they were not there, they did not observe the habits of dinosaur, their suppositions are merely that, and their conclusions are not based on the construction of the dinosaur's food chain and delivery system.
The Bible, which says that such animals (and mankind) at that time lived entirely on herbs, is not yet proven wrong by these investigators. They are overconfident of their deductions which are based on non-scientific presuppositions.
Cheers for Dr. Jobe Martin, of Rockwall, Texas, formerly a successful practicing and teaching dentist; now the voice of Biblical Discipleship Ministries, and author of "The Evolution of a Creationist", as well as many other resources for confronting evolutionary thought with fact.
I plead self defense on behalf of T-Rex!
"But Burnham was thrilled at what the fossilized bones told him about the life of the duckbill."
Here is another creationist, devising his fairy tale out of a fossilized bone with a tooth jammed in it, and pretends this is a dinosaur speaking to him through the formed rock.
This is real evolutionary science? Hmmm.
I'll take my Bible.
Don't fossil with me, under a coolibah tree!
You sure that's what you meant to say?
If you’re just waiting while your billy boils, does Australia have duckbill dinosaur bones, or does it just have a duckbilled (mammal) platypus (which is a real challenge to the Darwinian theorist)?
I am unsure if we have any large lizard fossils - I know we have massive kangaroo and wombat fossils!
Great comment and the first I ever heard about this controversy.
(Speaking on the one hand as the author of "The Raman and Infrared Spectra of Pure and Chemically-substituted Vitreous Silica", Ph. D. Thesis, 1973 as well as retired research scientist; and on the other hand as a regenerated believer-disciple of The Christ, and discipler of those seeking to know and serve Him)
(Speaking on the one hand as a numbskull and on the other as a lame dead dog granted a seat at the King's table on someone else's account)
I'd be terrified of a massive kangaroo! The regular-sized ones are awesome and remarkable in their own accomplishments --
The real question is was he singing while he was waiting. If not then he can go waltzing away.
I agree that they are drawing a lot of conclusions from very little evidence, which could quite easily be validly interpreted in other ways. So they found a tooth in a fossilised bone. So what? That doesnt mean the animal was still alive when it got bit. I chipped a tooth biting a ballpoint but that doesnt mean my bic was alive.
Oh you guys :)
Implicit in the evidence, my FRiend, and inferred in the interpretation. You have two kinds of creationists: one the evolutionary creationist, and the other the Biblical kind. How would you interpret the motives and sequences of an automobile collision, an unspecified few days after the wrecks and debris are long gone, and having only the skid marks on the pavement as your guide?
That's kind of like what these paleontologists were doing, in their imaginative reconstruction, with the reporter labelling their amplified theorizing as fact.
But I do kind of like their discovery and description of the evidence of the "skid mark"/fossil, leaving out Historical Geology (Lamarckian) and just sticking with fact now observable. (I'm not sure I answered your question --)
It seems to me that each new generation of scientists just have to have something new to say and do about dinosaurs - methinks to get grant money for studies and field work.
My personal observation is that today's animal kingdom is comprised of herbivores, carnivores and combinations of the two. It seems logical that the dinosaur realm contained the same mix. Likewise, the appearance of the teeth, sharp vs molar-like advocates for the two groups. Look at cows' teeth and then go look at a Bengal Tiger's teeth.
And, yes, I know there is a difference between warm and cold blooded here, but I believe one can find the same support in today's reptilian world, too.
I’m confident that T- Rex was an opportunist that wouldn’t pass up a free meal. A 14,000 lb lizard is going to be a perpetually hungry beast after all. I’m equally sure he was perfectly capable of running down and killing smaller dinosaurs and eating them. I’m also confident that there are many explanations for a tooth found lodged in another dinosaurs tail but the most reasonable one is that the T-Rex cased own, attacked, and then failed to secure his meal-as is common in the world of predator and prey today.
I dunno. Maybe he just waltzed in the shade with the troopers, one, two, three. Was it a rope dance? All we’ve got here is the fossilized jumbuck — let’s just stick to the facts, ma’am —
Without starting a fight, it just seems that you have great faith, not facts nor observation. Who says either was eating anything. Maybe they were just playing, like puppies, and (his, her?) tooth fell out in the fracas.
Let me ask you:
Do T. Rex dinosaur fossils hsve teeth or bones in their fossilized digestive tracts? Or is TR just hypothetically, and universally assumed, to be a carnivore? Or is it just unproven smoke and mirrors?
My suggestion: In God we trust; everybody else please bring data.
So, if lions and tigers and bears lived at that time, along and together with predator aquatic mammals such as seals, killer whales along with fish like sharks and gar were all vegetarians and didn’t hunt and eat meat? You are going to believe that because some unknown person told that story , was passed down for generations and then someone wrote a book about it and now you swear it must be true? Yeah right, tell me how scientific that is.
Horses and cows have teeth more like mine. They eat grass. but cows and cats have deep-rooted teeth.
Apparently the TR does not, from what I've heard. And the TR's are more like a razor blade. According to the dentist Martin, they are sharp and shaped perfectly for stripping leaves from trees, or cutting through very broad-leaved plant membranes.
Maybe they are just good for cutting off and swallowing flowers! (smile).
If someone told me: Prove those teeth were only good for what these paleontologists claim, only a predator (live flesh, limbs, tough), or a scavenger (rotted flesh, soft, mushy), both carnivores -- I wouldn't be able to do it with what I now know. I couldn't even say authoritatively that TRs are not herbivores, as the Bible claims all the first moving creatures were--fish, too, like carp, I suppose.
Scripturally, no death to start. Capisce?
There aren’t many of those you have mentioned that couldn’t eat Purina Chow-type kibble, eh? Youse gotta have Faith, man!
You did thanks.I started to think that was what you mean whilst reading other comments.Oh well,at the very least I validated my credentials.
Don't worry about the massive kangaroos,Skippy's on our side,he's a brainiac and will outwit them.(he once disarmed a nuke)
This, to me, is a specious argument - sounds good, but how does that compare to the teeth of what we used to call a brontosaurus that was 100% herbivore? Another thing that I think is a great comparator is body mass and shape.
It would seem to me that a herbivore would require a rather sizeable 'digestion' engine for all those 'leaves' - big stomach, large intestinal tract, etc. I can see this in the erstwhile Brontosaur, but I fail to see it in a T-Rex. Likewise, I don't see the long neck and tree-top reach, nor do I see the same forefeet to support the massive "digestion" system. Instead, two little vestigial arms with claws that are, at best, usable in manipulating a kill in preparation for eating.
Sorry, but I just don't buy the sharp toothed herbivore argument at all.
With brotherly care, in your service --
You know, I've found that my only really dumb question is the one I don't ask and should --
Actually, it doesn't even sound good. Pointed, triangular teeth are good for puncturing and slicing. Flat, blunt teeth are good for stripping and grinding foliage. For slicing through broadleaf plants, you want straight-edged incisors.
I was giving the cited Dentist some benefit of doubt. I do not believe his explanation and conclusion one bit.
Not to hijack the thread but I found it strange that no one in church would ask any hard questions.I started thinking (rightly or wrongly)that maybe folks are scared there aren't really any good answers.When I first began to have an inkling that there might actually be some sort of treasure in that field the hard questions were a nagging choir.
So,having that inkling,we dig.
ping to the joy-boy that God had hand me a shovel.8-)
Occam's razor states that the explanation that requires the fewest assumptions is most probably correct-the simplest explanation IOW. A mouthful of exceptionally large, sharp pointed serrated shedable teeth most simply describes an animal that kills other animals and then eats them or that finds them dead and then eats them or both. In today's animal kingdom, we need only look at the great white shark to gain an idea as to the dietary habits of the T. rex. The great white shark is a modern apex predator that will also not decline to eat carrion should the opportunity to do so arise.
Furthermore, fossilized duckbill bones have been found in fossilized T. rex scat.
ping to the joy-boy that God had hand me a shovel.8-)
Tis’ better than what we used to shovel LOL
Why couldnt it have been both? Ive never understood the controversy. Look a todays animals. The lion is a predator but has been known to scavenge. The hyena is a scavenger but has been known to kill. How many of our carnivores arent opportunistic other than snakes?
It's pretty simple and easy to understand. There is the world's system, and the Bible system.
Both are faith-based systems.
Either by death came man (the world's system), or by man came death (God's system as reported in the Bible).
Carnivores live by death of another moving creature. Herbivores do not.
According to the Bible, until Noah's flood, all moving creatures were herbivores, but the world's system rejects this concept.
The world's system and God's system are incompatible.
That's the controversy.
(1) I'd like the article. (2) That does not prove that the diet regime started that way. (3) Occam's razor is probablistic and can fail. It is not proof of anything.
But, here we go, and I don't want to follow it. Your system and mine, about origins, are incompatible. They cannot be blended. Trying to do so only produces endless debate. At this point in time, there are no logical winners.
Sorry, I misunderstood your point. Yes, the paleologists pushed their conclusions way beyond their evidence, As you say, it could have been both. But it also could have been neither. Unless one has observed the species in its habitat for a long time, proposing mutually exclusive solutions seems senseless. Humans eat Limburger cheese and ramps (smelly wild leeks). What does that prove?
The fact remains, he dove into the billabong.
AND his voice can still be heard.
How to get more bang outta your jumbuck —
But you need to approach with an open mind, like the Bereans, who were more noble than the Thessalonikans (Acts 17:11).
I do not personally, believe the explanation of the paleontologists because of the closing of their minds. In fact, the T. R. did not bite effectively. The "scientists" explanation required a leap of faith, not an array of fact.
You have me confused with someone who makes the great leap that dinosaurs have something to do with evolution or creation. I was merely pointing out that I think the Dentists’ theory was BS.
I don’t need a bible, nor do I have to listen one lone Dentist’s conjecture about a whole species by examining a single set of bonds.
Religion has nothing to do with. And as far as that “T.R. did not bite effectively” stuff, I don’t believe that either - it is not “in fact” anything just because you say so..
Please stop with the religion stuff. It has nothing to do with the arguments I presented. You never even said one word about the other reasons I thought the theory was BS. I’m not going to get into some theological diversion because you’re obstinate.
Carrying that further to claim it a predator is the faith leap into untestable theory. We have no more T. Rexes ... yet, that is.
You are nuts. One TR loses a tooth and you condemn the whole species to eating leaves because a dentist says so.
Testable or not, your unexplainable forays into this question’s relationship to religion is wholly unfounded.
You really aren’t capable of arguing a cogent point.
Oh. You're a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist? You may say my proposition is not suitable to you, but this sounds like ad hominem argumentation to me.
One TR loses a tooth and you condemn the whole species to eating leaves because a dentist says so.
Sounds like carrying what I said in gross exaggeration beyond the point made, that indeed the paleontologists' opinion is conjecture delivered as incontrovertible fact. Truly, you are painting my conjecture black as me saying that there are no other admissible points that "have been debated for a hundred years". You need to reserve your paintbrush for the paleontologists who, through an unwarranted leap of faith in their own confidence extend a solid fact into a shaky theory presented as undebatable, and other views must be dismissed.
Testable or not, your unexplainable forays into this questions relationship to religion is wholly unfounded.
True scientific procedure always involves observability, reproducibility, testability, and falsification. That which is not leaves the theory open to question. These paleontologists are taking one anecdotal point and expanding it beyond probability and conjecture into "scientific fact" without applying the hurdles above. But also in this case, the topic in question is an area in which there is an overlap of paleontology with creation science. Dr. Martin's relevant research into how scientific fact plays into the Biblical account is an alternate view of the explanation. This is a quite valid point to bring out. You say this has no relevance. I say with equal force that your opinion is wrong, and that Martin's work and my bringing it to attention here does bring a greater illumination.
You really arent capable of arguing a cogent point.
I think you mean that I do not see things the same way you do, and therefore must be not only wrong, but incoherent. In my discussion, I have applied conjecture without demanding more than acceptance of its credibility as an alternative. Personally, I don't think you are capable of making a cogent point, let alone defending one without name-calling and adumbration. So let's leave this type of rock-throwing response alone for a while, eh?
One track...over and over and over. Meh....
What’s that have to do with him waltzing with ewes under a tree? sounds shady to me! He must be some kind of scalawag.
Ah, I think I got just a little too smart (again), and said the wrong thing (only guessing at the Down-under slang from my old camp days when we sang this song, 60 years ago).
He still has some work yet to do with my soul. Haven't had a chance until just now to catch up on this issue.
Dentition can tell us much about an animals eating habits but not everything. If most of the teeth resemble molars it is pretty obvious the animal was a herbivore. If they resemble canines they ate mostly meat. The black bear is a good example of an omnivore, it has the teeth of a carnivore but also eats berries, honey, apples etc. as well as meat.
I think much of the controversy has to do with the amount of reputation the experts have invested in their theories. Only their pet theories are correct. I noticed the same thing in psychology 101.
No problem at all. I’m just playing with the various verses of Waltzing Matilda which is one of my all time favorite songs.
It was featured very well in the movie ‘On the Beach’ and I really appreciated how rich it is when played with various musical interpretations.
I just added a few of my own ‘interpretations’, that’s all.
For what it’s worth, I was born and raised in Chicago and I have lived stateside all my life other than a short trip to Jamaica.