For the first time, paleontologists have discovered a fossilized tyrannosaur with its last meal preserved in its stomach—and it turns out the dinosaur was a fussy eater, consuming only the choicest parts of its prey and discarding the rest.
The discovery confirms what researchers have long suspected: Juvenile tyrannosaurs, like this one, sliced through the flesh of small prey with blade-like teeth, while adults, with chompers strong enough to crush bone, targeted giant herbivores.
Those differences mean that adults and juveniles didn’t compete for prey, allowing these predators to dominate their ecosystem throughout much of their lives, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science Advances.
The star of the new research—a 13-foot-long, 740-pound juvenile tyrannosaur known as Gorgosaurus libratus—sprinted after nimble prey through the forests of what is now Alberta, Canada, about 75 million years ago.
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