Starving dinosaurs may have resorted to cannibalism when food was scarce, study finds

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STARVING dinosaurs may have resorted to cannibalism when food was scarce, a study suggests.

Tooth marks on fossil bones from the late Jurassic period 150million years ago give “excellent evidence of feeding habits”.

PA:Press Association

Artist impression of dinosaurs in a stressed late Jurassic ecosystem[/caption]

PA:Press Association

Photo issued by University of Tennessee of bite marks on an Allosaurus bone[/caption]

They found 684 specimens with at least one bite mark from a theropod, probably Allosaurus.

Most were on bones of plant-eating reptiles, but 17 per cent were on those of other theropods.

Observed bite marks include punctures, scores, furrows, pits, and striations.

Researcher Stephanie Drumheller said: “Big theropods were not picky eaters, especially if strapped for resources.


“Scavenging and even cannibalism were definitely on the table.”

The US team from the University of Tennessee analysed 2,000 bone fragments from the Mygatt-Moore Quarry, Colorado.