Some people may have wondered at one point or another how did dinosaurs really eat, even if this thought plagued them for a while or it just passed. However, for a team of researchers form the University of Alberta this question got them to try and get to the root of the problem and find out really how dinosaurs teeth influenced their eating pattern since by doing this they could have a better image about how it would be like for them to exist.
How did they do that?
Wilkinson, one of the co-authors of the paper, and his team decide to start by looking at the scratches left by prey on their predators. The dinosaurs that they looked at are Dromaeosaurus, Troodon and Saurornitholestes since they were pretty similar.
One of the first things that they found was the fact that the scratches that they analyzed ran either up and down or they were angled vertically which showed that the prey was killed and eaten as the predator chomped down on it while tearing the flesh off. These patterns were seen on other dinosaurs as well which may indicate that all meat-eating dinosaurs would use this technique.
However, they also found something that took them by surprise when they decided to take a closer look at Troodon’s teeth. They saw that if the angle of the bite was changed even minimally then the teeth were likely to break. Since large prey would put up a big fight and likely end up breaking Troodon’s teeth, the dinosaur would try to hunt smaller prey that would be easier to kill with less collateral damage.
The study does not just focus on thes three dinosaurs, it goes on into detail about other species and their eating habits as well, painting a clear picture of how it was to be both predator and prey.