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Home / Science / Morphological species theory says that Tyrannosaurus rex is a carnivore at all stages of life

Morphological species theory says that Tyrannosaurus rex is a carnivore at all stages of life



A study released this week showed how Tyrannosaurus rex consumes different resources during multiple stages of growth. It is easy to arrange modern meat-eating mammals into a chart showing the average size of adult adults-each of these animals has a unique impact on its own ecosystem. Given the average size of adult dinosaurs, there seems to be a big gap from smallest to largest in the middle of the chart.

In the three main periods of the Mesozoic, there are gaps in the graphs of adult carnivorous dinosaurs. The Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods severely lacked medium-sized “meat-eating carnivores” (as Ariana Richards’ “Lex” called them in Jurassic Park).

Why do we have neat carnivores ranging from small to the size of a lion in modernity, but not in the age of dinosaurs? Researchers at the University of New Mexico and the University of Nebraska have proposed a new theory: morphological species.

the above: Figure 3 The gap between dinosaurs and modern carnivorous mammals. (A) Carnivorous mammals in Kruger National Park are organized by scale. (B) If the largest carnivore is scaled to the largest carnivore in Kruger, then the carnivorous dinosaur formed in the Dinosaur Park. The baby (gray) of the largest species shown below adulthood indicates its relative growth needs. Image description: UNM Department of Biology.

You may have heard of the shift from the old dinosaur way of thinking to the new way of thinking. In the past few decades, this shift has reduced the number of individual dinosaur species from many to… much less than previously suspected. many. If you have never seen a TED talk with Jack Horner about “transforming dinosaurs”, I suggest you take some time-this is one of the most talked about TED talks in the history of TED talks.

Please keep this in mind (as mentioned above) when reading the rest of the papers published by the researchers this week. Thinking of each bone as a new dinosaur in the old way allows scientists to see a series of more “complete” dinosaurs, just like what we see in modern carnivores. When someone like Jack Horner appeared, this theory fell apart.

Now, with the help of the latest research, morphological theory makes the disillusionment of this difficult problem meaningful. We can’t see individual carnivorous dinosaurs filling in all the size differences from small to large, because dinosaurs like T-rex are there, Utilize their entire size range When they have grown from a newborn baby (just growing out of an egg) to become the biggest carnivorous among them.

Tyrannosaurus rex is a very effective carnivore and therefore has a significant impact on the ecosystem in which it lives at every stage of its growth. Why choose mid-range carnivorous dinosaurs when you can have more Tyrannosaurus rex?

For more information, please visit the paper “The Impact of Juvenile Dinosaurs on Community Structure and Diversity” published in the journal Science. The paper was written by Katlin Schroeder, S. Written by Kathleen Lyons and Felisa A. Smith. You can use the code DOI: 10.1126/science.abd9220 for research, which was published in Science Volume 371, Issue 6532 on February 26, 2021.


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