Article

Head-biting behavior in theropod dinosaurs: Paleopathological evidence

Gaia 01/2000; 15.
Source: OAI

ABSTRACT

Cranial material of Sinraptor dongi (Upper Jurassic, Xinjiang, China), Gorgosau- rus libratus, Daspletosaurus torosus (Upper Cretaceous, Alberta, Canada), and other large theropod dinosaurs exhibit similar paleopathological anomalies indicative of aggressive in- tra- or interspecific biting. Tooth strike trauma includes osseous lesions caused by solitary or multiple tooth punctures, or by dragging or gouging the tooth tips across the surfaces of cranial elements. Many of these lesions were undergoing active healing at the time of death. One isolated tyrannosaurid dentary bears a broken off and embedded tooth tip of another ty- rannosaur. Comparison with unhealed large theropod toothmarks on prey bone suggests that sublethal wounds of these types were caused by other large theropods, possibly rival conspecifics. This may indicate aggressive head or face-biting behavior in certain theropod families. Other associated traumatic osteopathy typified as localized rib and fibula fractures were observed but cannot be directly correlated with violent intra- or interspecific behavior. Healed and healing bite wounds of the head may be related to a number of factors. Establish- ment of dominance within a pack and territorial behavior are considered as two of the most likely causes. Study of paleopathologies is demonstrated to be a useful tool for understand- ing dinosaur behavior.

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Available from: Darren Tanke, Jan 29, 2014
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    • "Rothschild & Berman 1991) and other dinosaur clades such as some theropods and many ornithischians (e.g. Moodie 1923; Rothschild 1985, 1987; Tanke & Currie 1998). "
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    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Lethaia
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    • "g . Moodie 1923 ; Rothschild 1985 , 1987 ; Tanke & Currie 1998 ) . The fused vertebral bodies by means of the appar - ent ossification of intervertebral disc also support a spondyloarthropathy condition . "
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    ABSTRACT: Bone pathology in the titanosaur dinosaur Uberabatitan ribeiroi from the Marília Formation (Bauru Group, Late Cretaceous) of Uberaba city (Minas Gerais State, Brazil) is analysed here. They include two fused procoelous mid-caudal vertebrae (CPPLIP-1020) and a haemal arch (CPPLIP-1006) of the middle section of the tail with a healing fracture callus. The analyses of the caudal vertebrae CPPLIP-1020 of Uberabatitan permit us to recognize the following signs, based on CT scan and external macroscopic observations: (1) ossified longitudinal tendons; (2) likely ossified intervertebral disc, producing fused vertebral bodies; (3) fused right zygapophyseal process with a laterally developed osteophyte affecting this joint; (4) osteophytes and exostoses at different portions of the vertebrae; (5) cloacae, bone erosion and likely internal infection. According to all the processes observed in these caudals, we could not discard at least two possibilities for the diagnosis of the fused vertebrae. It could be the result of a spondyloarthropathy process (considering most of the observed signs) or possibly have been associated with an infection (e.g. discospondylitis/infections spondylitis or septic arthritis). The bone lesion record in Uberabatitan ribeiroi from the Late Cretaceous of Brazil increases the range of study of titanosaur dinosaurs, which although have a large fossil record, have few pathological studies.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Lethaia
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    • "Types 3 and 5 are important as they often permit identification of the animal responsible for the bite; however, specimens in the latter category are exceedingly rare (Currie and Jacobsen, 1995; Jacobsen, 1998; Buffetaut et al., 2004; Bell and Currie, 2010; Xing et al., 2012). Small-scale parallel striae (type 3; Tanke and Currie, 2000) are produced when the serrated edge of the tooth is dragged across the surface of the bone leaving an impression of the denticles. The resulting impressions can be matched to the teeth of particular theropods based on size, shape, and spacing of the grooves (Jacobsen, 1995, 1998). "
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