Tyrannosaurs used 'sixth sense' to hunt prey
The giant two-legged carnivores of the Cretaceous had more than just big teeth and jaws in their arsenal.
The discovery of a new species of tyrannosaur which lived 75 million years ago in what is now Montana has revealed that, like modern crocodiles, these prehistoric predators possessed highly sensitive scales on their face which enabled them to hunt down their next meal with ease.
Known as Daspletosaurus horneri, the new species, which stood 7.2ft in height, possessed a massive skull, a heavy tail and had patches of armored skin across its body.
In addition to helping it hunt down prey, its hypersensitive snout would have likely had other uses too such as helping the animal protect its young from opportunistic predators.
By comparing the new specimen to other tyrannosaurs, scientists have determined that the entire tyrannosaur family was likely to have had the same 'sixth sense' as Daspletosaurus.
"Given that the sensitive snout is so highly integrated into the day-to-day life of alligators and other crocodilians, there is every reason to suspect the same for tyrannosaurs since they were outfitted with the same equipment," said paleontologist Thomas Carr.