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T. Rex: Warrior or Wimp?

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Ratings: 7.20/10 from 5 users.

Storyline

T. Rex - Warrior or Wimp?Tyrannosaurus rex - it's the scariest, meanest, most bewitching dinosaur of them all. Children are captivated by the sheer savagery of the teeth.

Experts marveled at the force of its bite - ten times more powerful than anything we know today. Movie makers made millions out of the terror it inspired. But could our picture of this monster be completely wrong?

Was T. rex in fact a slow lumbering creature, with hideously bad breath, that couldn't get anywhere close to catching a Triceratops. Was it really a scavenger that lived off the scraps left by others? Was T. rex, in fact, a wimp?

Featuring fabulous graphics and interviews with T. rex experts from around the world, Horizon looks at the new science that is challenging the legend of the dinosaur we love to hate.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • Atrophy

    Nature abhors waste and for such a large creature to predate every meal would have been a waste of energy when a ready meal was available. Its size and strength would have ensured it got the choice carcass' with little opposition as a solitary scavenger.

  • ash breaks stuff

    this doc just makes sense.

  • Robyn

    The hunting strategy was compared to big cats, which have powerful forearms for grasping. Wolves, hyenas and crocs don’t. It probably did scavenge whenever the opportunity arose and maybe the tail was a formidable weapon like the croc’s that broke limbs or knocked prey down before going in for the kill. It just seems too much of a risk to go up a against a Triceratops tail with your head. Then again it could have hunted smaller defenseless prey and scavenged the dead or mortally wounded larger dinosaurs that resulted from mating and territorial disputes. I would think it would take a massively built head like that to tear apart an Apatosaurus hide.

  • Galloway Grumblefield

    To conclude that the T. Rex didn't kill the triceratops, only because the T. Rex tooth marks were on the ventral side of the sacral bones isn't a logical one. T. Rex could have, and would have munched on any part of its prey at any time after death. After all, the T. Rex was in it for the food, not the sport.

    I'm not saying the T. Rex did kill triceratops, only that the reasons given for not killing triceratops are not sound. If T. Rex could strangle triceratops by clamping down on its esophagus, that would make more sense, considering the triceratops' bony protection. Even if T. Rex was lumbering, would that automatically make triceratops quicker?

  • Ron Burgundy

    maybe it was both, just sayin

  • Ez

    @ Ron Burgundy

    Iv'e heard that very hypothesis before, the predator combined with scavenging makes sense to me. Of course I am no paleontologist, and I give credit to these peoples education so maybe they know something we don't.

  • Ez

    I just can't seem to get through this doc. I fall asleep every time. Its a pretty good doc though, I am just tired I think. I agree with whom ever it was that stated the evidence they call conclusive is merely suggestive at best. I am impressed with the level of critical thinking in most of the above comments, good job guys. I think many of you have done a better job than the experts in the doc. It seems to me many of them get an idea in their head and go to great legths to prove it, even ignoring the obviouse.

  • richie

    gators teeth are round and they are predators.

  • Robert Allen

    Excellent documentary, especially when one of the paleontologists generalizes that the mammals we know are neither totally predators nor scavengers. This takes it from the specific to the general which is one of the things science is about.

    In addition, although there are two different paleontological camps regarding the nature of T. Rex, both sides come off like true scientists. Kudos!

  • Charles B.

    I want to go to the Badlands and get a T-rex tooth now! I have a fossil shark's tooth, and a necklace made from Mastadon ivory, but a T-Rex tooth would be so cool.

  • Trey

    Yeee T-Rex tooth is somthing y need..
    You can buy T-Rex tooth or go to bandlands end try to find one

  • Ez

    @ Charles B.

    Careful, you'll end up in jail. I don't think you can just take it if you do find it, besides that would be a really gawdy necklace. From what I have seen on this and another documentary you can end up in federal trouble for taking a fossil like that. I haven't really looked into it though, maybe I am wrong. But they arrested this guy and another guy on a different doc for taking fossils with incorrect documentation. It probably has to do with where you find the fossil and what it is.I think they are trying to make sure science gets a chance to look at and study fossils like this before someone just makes a necklace out of it. While I think arrest may be a little too far to go, I agree that science should hold priority over someone having a cool trinket to look at. Think where we would be if someone had of made a necklace out of Lucy before science got a chance to look at her.

    On second thought don't answer that Charles, I know what your stance on evolution is already. Not trying to poke at you though, the last thing we need is another 600 post arguement about evolution on this site. I can't help but wonder though, if man and dinosaur lived together as six day creation we1rdos say they believe, how in the world did Noah manage to get two of these huge things on his boat? Its quite obviouse he didn't but still, can you explain that one away Charles?

  • Evil M. Asterplan

    Great Whites have no way to clasp their prey either other then their Jaws and that awesome chomping power and are also known for having all kinds of random scavenged junk inside of them but they are definitely hunters as well as scavengers. Perhaps the reason for the T-Rex having such small arms is because of the fact that with their jaws strength and their weight the need for strong as well was factored out as redundant by nature and so became pretty much useless. The tooth design (the girth) on the T-Rex I would imagine would have to be quite sturdy if that was its main method for holding on to struggling prey especially if it hunted alone as compared to other pack hunter dinosaurs which used numbers over sheer strength to kill. I definitely don't find the placement of one set of jaw prints on a skeleton to be proof of anything. The T-Rex wouldn't necessarily have to hit the bone in order to kill the creature. In all I found a lot of the "Evidence" to be rather frustrating. The crocks are a great way of gauging the biting power of the T-Rex but another step might be to examine some Crock kill too as I would imagine that the hunting strategy for both would have been very similar.
    Just my thoughts. It was definitely intriguing tho, thanks a lot for this.

  • ggg

    T's definitely would have killed Triceratops. I don't think any land animal within its geographical reach were not killed by T Rex on a regular basis with the exception of the big sauropods that were too big to even bother with. However, I do think Triceratops gave as good as it got and T Rex would have attacked them only when very desperate.

  • http://twitter.com/FrankieThrowup matthew awesome

    I dunno, maybe Trex attacked the triceratops as much as anything else. As said in the doc, it has evolved teeth and jaws designed to crush through bones, maybe even triceratops horns and boney head shield? Many prey animals in the Cretaceous had large boney plates, such as the anklwhateverasaur. If it hunted ambush style like crocodilians, it would want to do the most damage in a single bite, unlike predators like velociraptor or dinonychus.

  • LIVEFROMLIMBO

    the ark, was a metaphor. animals two by two, meant collection of all species in a dna bank.

    there are fossils of human and dino footprints together. as well as 50 000yr old sparkpluf found in coal.

  • Sabin Russell

    ''trex was a wimp''

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shawn-Sheridan/227302682 Shawn Sheridan

    If you have the head the size of a T rex you have no need for hands, teeth that can crush bones you dont need to rip flesh to mortaly wound prey. As for bite mark on the bottom of the triceratops, well they could have came after he killed it, or as most of us Im sure even he wouldnt pass up a free meal

  • tariqxl

    If someone shot a cow and called themselves a hunter I'd laugh, seems to me that the T-rex was a scavenger but every now and then could scavenge living meat. Predator isn't the word I'd use.

  • Xbow

    I would say that T-Rex was both a predator and a scavenger when a creature weights a number of tons it can't afford to pass up a meal...ever. A Bear is undoubtedly a predator but it is also not averse to scavenging.

  • ifacir

    well t-rex lived with hes / her'S partner all life, when the young was old and enough they would go and find another t-rex to mate with and stay with that t-rex for the rest of its life, and they will hunt together, one would go around the prey and the other one would chase it to the t-rex some have walked around the prey,

    ( sry for the bad english )

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1302835467 Joseph Goseph

    childhood.ruined.