Possible evidence of gregarious behavior in tyrannosaurids

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • In 1910, a collecting party from the American Museum of Natural History led by Barnum Brown floated down the Red Deer River of Alberta. In the Horseshoe Canyon Formation (Edmonton Group, Campanian-Maastrichtian, Upper Cretaceous) close to the mouth of Big Valley Creek, they excavated semi-articulated skeletons of several individuals of Albertosaurus sarcophagus OSBORN, 1905 from a single quarry. Other than the tyronnosaurids, only two hadrosaur phalanges were recovered. Eight articulated feet with associated limb bones were given catalogue numbers, as was an articulated string of twenty-five caudal vertebrae. The remaining tyranosaurid fossils that could not be associated with any of these specimens or with each other were all assigned a single number. Brown's other discoveries of well-preserved dinosaur skeletons in southern Alberta overshadowed the tyrannosaurid find, and the specimens were largely forgotten. However, it is the best evidence that exists to suggest that tyrannosaurids may have been gregarious animals. The almost complete lack of herbivore bones from the excavation suggest that this was probably not a predator trap, such as has been postulated for the Allosaurus Marsh, 1877 accumulation at the Cleveland-Lloyd Quarry near Price, Utah. Comparative measurements indicate that juvenile tyrannosaurids were probably almost as fast at running as ornithomimids. This suggests a division of labor amongst a hunting pack of tyrannosaurids.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
  • License
    © 1998 Oekom Verlag. This version...
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • Currie, P. J. (1998). Possible evidence of gregarious behavior in tyrannosaurids. Gaia, 15, 271-277.