New tyrannosaur species had a sensitive face.

Science News gets up close and personal with Daspletosaurus horneri, a 9-meter-long prehistoric predator which hunted 75 million years ago with the help of a remarkably sensitive side:

D. horneri’s facial bones were lumpy and coarse, like “mud that people have walked through a dozen times,” says study coauthor Thomas Carr, a vertebrate paleontologist at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis. And nerve holes riddled the dinosaur’s snout and jaw bones. Such texture and wiring is similar to that of crocodilians, close tyrannosaur relatives that have specialized sensory organs in their facial scales.

The dino’s head would have been as sensitive as a “giant fingertip,” Carr says, potentially allowing D. horneri to gently pick up its young.

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