Turns Out There Were Once Billions of T. Rexes, and They Hunted Their Prey in Terrifying Packs

Scientists have discovered that the most tyrannical dinosaur was more omnipresent and socially inclined than previously imagined.
Turns Out There Were Once Billions of T. Rexes, and They Hunted Their Prey in Terrifying Packs
Image credit: Mark Stevenson/Stocktrek Images | Getty Images

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It turns out the majority of prehistoric creatures weren't merely outsized by the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex  — they were outnumbered by it as well. The massive carnivores apparently traveled in murderous packs, like werewolves of the Mesozoic Era — 15-feet-tall, several-ton, lizardlike werewolves with a predatory mandate to consume anything made of meat and flesh, including its own kind.

On that last point, the Utah Bureau of Land Management shared peer-reviewed findings this week that T. rexes may well have roamed for sustenance in groups of four or five, contrary to the popular notion that they barnstormed the land as solitary scavengers. The gist is this: Fossils uncovered at a relatively new discovery site inside the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument called the Rainbows and Unicorns Quarry (seriously) indicate that, per the Bureau's press release, a group of several tyrannosaurs "died together during a seasonal flooding event that washed their carcasses into a lake, where they sat, largely undisturbed until the river later churned its way through the bone bed." And, as T. rex expert Philip Currie added to the summary, this joins "a growing body of evidence that tyrannosaurids were capable of interacting as gregarious packs." 

Related: Scientists Say They Can Recreate Living Dinosaurs Within the Next Few Years

As if that weren't already fodder for a future installment of the cinematic Monsterverse, the Bureau's news comes on the heels of recent research published in Science suggesting more than 2.5 billion T. rexes roamed the earth over a period of a few millon years. That works out to around 20,000 of the giant havoc-wreakers having their way with lesser lifeforms at any given time — and apparently in roving packs that were only humbled by climactic ruptures beyond anyone's imagination. 

Just something to keep in mind as you consider the headline of that "Related" link above.

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