T. rex: Just a big puppy?

The Telegraph reveals new fossil evidence that one of history’s scariest dinosaurs engaged in play-fights:

Geologist Dr Joe Peterson, of Northern Illinois University, said: “Jane has what we call a boxer’s nose. Her snout bends slightly to the left. It was probably broken and healed back crooked.”

Because the dinosaur had not reached maturity, the researchers said it was unlikely the combat was over sexual conflict or competition but might have been a learning behaviour for young dinosaurs prompted by a show of dominance or territorial dispute.

“Only a few animals could have inflicted the wound,” Peterson says, noting that the bite marks were oblong-shaped. When we looked at the jaw and teeth of Jane, we realised her bite would have produced a very close match to the injuries on her own face.

“That leads us to believe she was attacked by a member of the same species that was about the same age. Because the wound had healed, we think this happened when Jane was possibly a few years younger.”