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Another question from me. I've noticed
that our view of theTyrannosaurids is slowly changing from the
solitary hunter-scavenger to the social predator. Is it likely that
Tyrannosaurids like Albertosaurus and Tyrannosaurus could have been
highly social in their behaviour. I've heard that the injuries found
on them seem to indicate they were antisocially social. If this is the
case, has the public been resistant to the idea?
from Lillian T., age 14, ?, ?, ?; July 12, 2001
TOM: Trying to figure out if an extinct animal was social is often difficult, because in the modern world we generally need direct field observations for this. However, given the fact that there are several cases of tyrant dinosaurs of different growth stages are found together, it is likely they had some social interactivity.
As you note, there is some evidence of tyrannosaurs (and some other theropods, including Velociraptor and Sinraptor) fighting and biting each other on the heads. While this would indicate that they occasionally met each other, it doesn't necessarily imply an organized social community: after all, Komodo dragons and crocodiles do not have organized social groups, but they will bite each others faces when crowding around a kill, producing many of the same types of wounds as we see on theropod faces.
I'm not sure if the public has been very resistant to the idea of tyrannosaurid social activity. That might be because many of the big modern predators we are used to (lions and wolves, for instance) are social.
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