As if the lord of all dinosaurs wasn’t scary enough, we now find out that the T-rex could’ve eaten you in one bite due to 90 degrees mouth opening.
Yes, he was big, he was fast, he had no natural predators of his own, but now scientists have discovered another astonishing fact about him. He could literally open his mouth in a 90 degree angle.
For example, herbivore dinosaurs had a much smaller mouth opening, proving that this skull feature of the animal was directly linked to the way it fed and the type of food it had to eat. This is interesting, because, although the carnivores and especially the rex are almost always pictured with their mouth open, no other studies have been performed linking its mouth-opening and its food, says the author of the study.
Dr. Stephen Lautenschlager, from the School of Earth Sciences within the University of Bristol, while working on the study, has also analyzed another huge carnivore, other than the rex, meaning the Allosaurus fragilis. He also looked at a large herbivore, the Erlikosaurus andrewsi. This last one was definitely an interesting choice as, although it was closely related to the meat eating dinosaurs, it only ate plants himself.
The Allosaurus’ mouth gap was of 45 degrees, just like with humans. But for humans the story is quite different, because we benefited from millennia of evolution regarding eating, involving cooking and processing food, that really rendered our jaw skills useless.
But for dinosaurs, however, it was not like that. T-rex, evidently, had the best biting device out there, both in strength and size. These were necessary traits as the dino had to fight, kill and eat other animals.
This is the usual case with carnivores, even today. One look at the large predatory cats like lions, tigers and black leopards will tell you just that. However, interestingly enough, one animal today has an even bigger mouth opening than rex had. And that’s the hippo. And they can open up their jaws at a staggering 150 percent. If you want to know what that looks like, try to imagine that a 4-foot-tall human being could actually stand in a hippo’s mouth, no problem there.
It is yet unclear why nature has endowed the hippo with such a big mouth opening, seeing as they are herbivores and would normally not need it. However, they are known to scavenge on meat when they cannot find their usual food, so maybe somewhere in the far away past they ate meat too.
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