It seems that theropods had to kill other dinosaurs in order to survive, due to the stressed ecosystem. But could theropods actually eat some of their own?
Food was a problem in ancient Colorado, about 150 million years ago – that’s during the Late Jurassic period. And as you probably already know, Theropods were carnivorous, who walked on two legs. Some were small, and some were very big. Their bite mark was found on bones of herbivorous creatures (these are the ones that eat plants), and on the bones of other theropods. This is where it gets interesting.
By examining fossils from the Mygatt-Moore Quarry in Colorado, researchers found out more about theropods. It seems that they have probably hunt down their fellow dinosaurs.
These bite marks show us incredible details about the behavior of extinct creatures that they showed with their own species. We have learned more about the food chain, the interaction spread selection, the feeding strategies, and the competition.
But it is kind of hard to match the bite marks with individual animals when all they show is a small number of bone markings, especially when it comes to marks between different animals that have similar characteristics, or to similar animals that inhabit the same environment.
The main author of the study, Stephanie Drumheller-Horton, stated that: “[With] trace fossils in general, it can be challenging to figure out who left them.” This happens mostly due to the fact that the animals could have existed at the same locations, but they haven’t been found yet. And sometimes, it can be challenging to find out why animals were fossilized at a specific site. So the researchers had to ask themselves if they can actually match them up.