Paleontologist Robert DePalma and his colleagues recently unearthed vertebrae from a hadrosaur with a T. rex tooth buried in it.
The findings reveal what every dinosaur lover always suspected: that T. rex was a fearsome predator, not just a scavenger.
Past studies had suggested that T. rex had a strong bite, and stomach contents showed the giant was a carnivore. But because T. rex may have had a good sense of smell, some paleontologists argued the king of the dinosaurs wasn't a predator, but a scavenger. That keen nose could theoretically have been used to sniff out rotting carcasses.
DePalma and his colleagues were excavating in the Hell's Creek formation in South Dakota when they uncovered part of the spine of a hadrosaur, likely the pine-needle-eating herbivore Edmontosaurus. Lodged inside the vertebrae was a T. rex tooth.
The bone healed around the tooth, suggesting that the hadrosaur lived for a while after the attack.
The new discovery completes the picture of T. rex as a deadly predator.