T-Rex's arms may have served to tear the flesh of their victims
There is no doubt that tyrannosaurs were terrifying predators, but their little arms ... You have to agree that compared to the size of the lizard, the small limbs, besides being disproportionate, seemed a little ridiculous, right? The truth is that the size of these curious structures has been puzzling scientists for decades, and several theories have been put forward to explain why such a large and powerful reptile has such (apparently) insignificant arms.
Seriously ... (Giphy)
Among the proposed explanations is that the limbs were completely useless, that they were nothing more than vestigial structures resulting from the evolution of the T-Rex, or that they could be related to the mating of reptiles - and be used to make them reptile. animals could cling better. Now, according to Peter Dockrill of the Science Alert Web site, paleontologist Steven Stanley of the University of Hawaii has presented a study in which he proposes that little arms may have served to make tyrannosaurs even more lethal.
Ridiculous little arms, nothing!
According to Peter, studies by Steven suggest that the arms of tyrannosaurs were not merely evolutionary vestiges without good use, but capable of causing significant damage, even tearing the flesh of their prey. This is because, although small (the limbs were about 1 meter), the arms were quite strong and had sharp claws about 10 centimeters long.
Little Girl (New Historian)
And how did Steven come to this conclusion? It was based on several aspects related to the anatomy of the limbs, such as the large size of the caracoid bone - which is part of the shoulder and associated with the control of arm movement - indicating that the arms were stronger and more robust. than they look. In addition, the scientist noted that the T-Rex's humeral head (where the arm bone joins the shoulder) probably provided the animals with plenty of mobility, especially when striking prey.
In addition, the paleontologist believes that the small number of claws - tyrannosaurs had only two on each arm, while other bipedal dinosaurs had three - gave the T-Rex the ability to exert 50% more pressure when striking and tearing. the flesh of its prey. And considering the length and shape of the claws, as well as the strength and great mobility of the arms, Steven's study suggests that lizards could cause considerable injury to their victims.
It will be?
Of course, not all scientists have received Steven's open arms proposal. To begin with, there is evidence that tyrannosaurus limbs have been shrinking throughout their evolution, and it is undeniable that their reptiles' jaws were far more powerful than their small arms. Another factor is that in order to claw their prey, the T-Rex would have to get close enough and basically press their chests against their victims' bodies - which could be dangerous.
Perhaps, as Steven himself suggested, the attack with the little arms would be more useful on younger tyrannosaurs and would lose functionality as the animals grew into adults. However, considering that such an onslaught was quite common among the theropods (the group to which the T-Rex belonged), who ensures that lizards did not tear their prey with their claws? Well, we can only wait for the suggestion of new theories! And you, dear reader, have any?