Date:

First discovery of a tyrannosaur skeleton with well-preserved stomach contents

The Tyrannosauridae family, colossal carnivorous dinosaurs reigning over terrestrial ecosystems around 80-66 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous Period, underwent substantial physical transformations throughout their growth stages.

They transitioned from agile and slender forms to more robust and stout shapes, indicating an adaptation to higher ecological niches that coincided with changes in their prey. While it’s established that adult tyrannosaurs hunted large herbivorous dinosaurs like Triceratops, the dietary habits of juvenile tyrannosaurs have remained a mystery.

In a groundbreaking revelation, scientists unearthed an almost complete skeleton of a juvenile Gorgosaurus, a species within the Tyrannosauridae, retaining remarkably well-preserved stomach contents in its abdominal cavity.

This find shed light on the feeding preferences of young tyrannosaurs. The stomach contents unveiled the hind limbs and remnants of two small juvenile dinosaurs, recognized as Cytipes. Intriguingly, the two Cytipes were preyed upon at different intervals, evident from their placement in the abdominal cavity and varying degrees of digestion.

This discovery implies that juvenile Tyrannosauridae favored preying on smaller dinosaurs, a dietary divergence from the adults that predominantly targeted large herbivorous dinosaurs.

Consequently, these revelations reinforce the theory that the diet and ecological roles of Tyrannosauridae shifted as they matured, offering invaluable insights into the life cycle of these captivating creatures.

Header Image Credit : University of Tsukuba

DinosaurDaily
DinosaurDaily
"DinosaurDaily" is your premier destination for the latest and most fascinating updates in paleontology, specifically centered around the captivating world of dinosaurs. Immerse yourself in a rich tapestry of news articles, insightful features, and captivating discoveries brought to you by leading experts and researchers in the field.

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Insects already had a variety of defense strategies in the Cretaceous

Examinations of amber have revealed that insect larvae had already developed a diverse array of defensive tactics to shield themselves from predators 100 million years ago.

Flowers were more diverse 100 million years ago

A group of international researchers, including botanists from the University of Vienna, Austria, has conducted a comprehensive analysis of fossilized flowers, comparing their morphological variety with that of present-day species.

Extinct marine creatures hidden in Thai sanctuary

Ten previously undiscovered species of trilobites, concealed for approximately 490 million years within an under-explored area of Thailand, may represent crucial elements in unraveling the complex puzzle of ancient world geography.

Researchers discover a new marine reptile that lived about 250 million years ago

A joint scientific team from Poland and China documented a new marine reptile that thrived approximately 250 million years ago in present-day China.

Researchers explain the coexistence of animal and plant forms from approximately 427 million years ago

Scholars from the University of Warsaw and the Polish Academy of Sciences elucidated the enigmatic coexistence of animal and plant life forms within the coastal sea shallows around 427 million years ago.

Pliosaurs were larger much earlier than previously thought

Pliosaurs, a subset within the plesiosaur group, were found to attain remarkable sizes far earlier than previously believed, as indicated by research conducted by an international team, including a scientist affiliated with the Polish Academy of Sciences. This discovery provides new insights into the evolutionary trajectory of these formidable oceanic predators.

Microfossils discovered by University of Leicester scientist date back half a billion years

A recent discovery by a University of Leicester scientist has unveiled a novel fossil type shedding light on...

Genomes of enigmatic tusk shells provide new insights into early Molluscan evolution

Accurate phylogenetic trees serve as essential tools in evolutionary and comparative biology. However, the sudden emergence of major animal...

Membership Affiliations