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Tyrannosaurus rex: Ferocious predator but sensuous mate, Daspletosaurus horneri discovery suggests

By Mharia Emmareen | Mar 31, 2017 08:39 PM EDT
A reconstruction of Tyrannosaurus at en:Natural History Museum.
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons/Marcin Floryan )

During the Jurassic period, Tyrannosaurus rex was considered the fiercest creature that roamed the Earth hunting for prey and a mate. Little is known about the T-rex love life but a recent study suggests that the biggest predator on land was also a sensile lover.

The 20-foot tall Tyrannosaurus rex has snout which is sensitive to the touch just like the human fingertips, according to scientists. Along with the other tyrannosaurs, it must have been used in examining its environment, make its nests, and cautiously pick up delicate eggs as well as babies. S Scientists conclude another probability that both male and female Tyrannosaurus rex love brushing their faces with each other, according to The Guardians.

"In courtship, tyrannosaurids might have rubbed their sensitive faces together as a vital part of pre-copulatory play," the US researchers noted down in the Scientific Reports journal.

The study came after the uncovering of the tyrannosaur family, Daspletosaurus horneri found in Montana, US. It lived earlier than the Tyrannosaurus rex about 74 million years ago which is smaller (about three-fourth the size of the T-rex) having a body size of 29.5 feet in length.

Numerous skulls and skeletons of the Daspletosaurus horneri were found rarely intact comprising of young and adults. The face of the dinosaur provided the most significant details introducing a new insight on tyrannosaur anatomy and transformation.

Mirror reported that the trigeminal nerve found in Daspletosaurus horneri as well as in Tyrannosaurus is accountable for the face's feeling perception which includes chewing and biting. The scientists assessed tyrannosaur skulls those of birds, mammals, and crocodylians including an earlier study that corresponded bone composition with different kinds of skin covering.

 Paleontologists trust that the Daspletosaurus horneri including other tyrannosaurs along with Tyrannosaurus rex faces was covered with big and flat scales. In addition, sturdy and shielding armor-like skin covering the snout and jaws. The snout's surface has many tiny nerve openings called foramina. It enables trigeminal nerves to enter the snout's surface making the entire face to become a very receptive third 'hand'.

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