Fossilized Evidence of Injuries to Predatory Dinosaurs?

Have there been fossils which indicate injuries to the big predatory dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurs or Allosaurs? I’m looking for something like, “Yes, this dinosaur was definitely killed by a triceratops horn”, or perhaps an ankylosaur or stegosaur tail. Or it got crushed by a big sauropod. Something like that.

I’m pretty sure that they have already found evidence that tyrannosaurs fought amongst themselves, and left fossil evidence. Feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken!

I recently attended a lecture by Jack Horner who is currently working on creating a Dino-Chicken and someone asked him what does he get the most letters about. He said that when he starting telling people that T-Rex was a scavenger as opposed to a predator he started getting lots of hate mail. So it’s unlikely a T-Rex would attack a Triceratops unless it was dying or dead. How he figured that out he didn’t say. I’ll ask him next time I see him.

IIRC there is evidence that T-Rex specimens had fallen and broken those tiny arms…

There is this fossil of a protoceratops and velociraptor fighting while both were suddenly killed. Both seem to have gotten some hits on the other.

Oh, i forgot all about that one!

Jack Horner said that those tiny arms were vestigial and if the non-flying dinosaurs had survived a few million years more they would be completely gone.


There’s evidence of dinosaurs having survived Tyrannosaur attacks so it seems probable that it did do some hunting in addition to opportunistic scavenging.

As the OP mentioned, we have found wound evidence on T-Rex skeletons which was likely inflicted by other Tyrannosaurs.


During life, this carnivore received several injuries and suffered from numerous pathologies. An injury to the right shoulder region of Sue resulted in a damaged shoulder blade, a torn tendon in the right arm due most likely from a struggle with prey, and three broken ribs. This damage subsequently healed (though one rib healed into two separate pieces), indicating Sue survived the incident.

This Allosaurus apparently perished after catching a Stegosaurus tail to the crotch and the wound getting infected. The article mentions other Allosaurus skeletons found with healed Stegosaurus-inflicted wounds.

Apparently, examination of the muscle attachment traces on fossils has indicated that the arms saw quite a lot of use. For what, no one knows.

Wow! Fantastic! Just what I wanted. Thanks for the info.

my bolding
That’s called a “thagomizer”.

Apparently the word is “in use” among paleontologists.

Can’t find a cite right now, but recently read that an ancestor of Tyrannosaurus had short arms 60 million years earlier, causing scientists to question whether the arms were shrinking over time at all. Maybe they were useful at that size.

:slight_smile: I was actually thinking of that old “Far Side” cartoon when I started the thread.

Great thread