A rigid skull served T. Rex to bite with the weight of six tons - La Provincia

The bite of Tyrannosaurus rex, able to break those bones of its prey, it was due to a rigid skull, like that of crocodiles, and not flexible like that of snakes, as paleontologists thought.

"The T. rex had a skull 2 ​​meters long, 1.7 wide and 1.3 feet high, and bit with force of approximately 6 tons," said Kaleb Sellers, a graduate student at the Faculty of Medicine from the University of Missouri. "Previous researchers analyzed this from a bone-only perspective without considering all the connections (ligaments and cartilage) that actually mediate the interactions between the bones."

Using a combination of images, anatomy and engineering analysis, the team observed how the roof of the mouth of T. rex reacted to the stress and tensions of chewing by applying models of how two current relatives of T. rex chew - a gecko and a parrot - to how T. rex's skull worked.

"Dinosaurs are like birds, crocodiles and modern lizards, since they inherited particular joints in their skulls from fish (spherical joints, very similar to people's hip joints) that seem to lend, but not always, to move like snakes, "Casey Holliday, an associate professor of anatomy at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, said in a statement.

"When you put a lot of force into things, there is a trade-off between stability and movement. Birds and lizards have more movement but less stability. When we applied their individual movements to the skull of T. rex, we saw that he did not like to be moved in the way that lizard and bird skulls do, which suggests more rigidity. "

In addition to helping paleontologists with a detailed study of the anatomy of fossilized animals, researchers believe that their findings can help advance human and animal medicine by providing better models of how joints and ligaments interact.

"In humans, this can also be applied to functioning of people's jaws, like studying how the jaw joint is loaded by tensions during chewing, "said Ian Cost, the principal investigator of the study. Cost is an assistant professor at Albright College and a former PhD student at the MU School of Medicine." animals, understanding how these movements occur and how joints are loaded will help, for example, veterinarians better understand how to treat exotic animals such as parrots, who suffer from arthritis on their faces. "

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