Researchers from the University of Maryland suggest that everywhere T.Rex rose to dominance, their juveniles took over and wiped out all other medium-sized predators.
While previous research has suggested that medium-sized predators disappeared due to a lack of prey, the new findings suggest that teen T.Rex may actually be to blame.
Researchers from the University of Maryland suggest that everywhere T.Rex rose to dominance, their juveniles took over and wiped out all other medium-sized predators .
In the study, the team set out to understand why there was a dramatic drop-off in diversity of medium-sized predators in lands that eventually became central Asia and Western North America around 95 to 80 million years ago.
Now, they suggest that as T.Rex evolved and grew, their juveniles outcompeted other carnivorous dinosaurs?
In the study, the researchers analysed the existing record of 60 dinosaur communities from 201 to 66 million years ago.
The analysis revealed that in 31 communities, tyrannosaurs were not the largest predators, and there was a wide range of medium predators.
In Asia and North America, those communities existed from 201 to 80 million years ago, while in other areas, they continued to exist through to 66 million years ago.
They counted the number of carnivorous species and sorted them into size categories, with 'medium' dinosaurs listed as those weighing 50 to 1,000kg, and 'large' dinosaurs as those exceeding 1,000kg.
Meanwhile, in the other 29 dinosaur communities, tyrannosaurs were the largest predator, with medium-sized predators either rare or absent.
In those communities where middle-sized predators are gone but the prey species are just as diverse, can we say that no one is preying upon these middle-sized prey.
The team now hopes to look further into the composition of prey species communities to uncover whether or not there was a change in prey size when T.Rex took over