October 6, 2022

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The great T. rex had small eyes

The great T. rex had small eyes

The predatory dinosaur replaced its large eyes with a stronger jaw.

the famous Tyrannosaurus Rex It can completely crush the bones of its prey. This dinosaur could crush bones with a force equivalent to the weight of three small cars (see box). But to get such a powerful bite, the T-Rex cut elsewhere. On his sight, researchers say in a new study. that’s how T-Rex Smaller eyes are enough.

More on T. rex .’s great biting power
previous search It was found that T. rex has a bite force about twice that of today’s largest crocodiles. When the T. rex squeezed its jaws, it generated a bite force of about 8000 pounds. For your depiction, you can compare this bite force to placing three small cars on the jaws of a T. rex. This is how hard the jaws are pressed together.

Many animals, including most dinosaurs, usually have circular eye sockets that house the eyeball. It’s different with some carnivorous dinosaurs. For example, large carnivores with a skull longer than one meter (such as terrifying . appear to be large) T-Rex) have oval, keyhole-shaped eye sockets. However, the burning question is: what purpose did the unusually shaped eye cavities serve?

Skulls of different types of dinosaurs with the shape of the eye socket indicated by a dotted line next to it. As you can see, the eye sockets of herbivorous dinosaurs are more rounded than those of carnivores. Photo: Dr. Stefan Luttenschlager, University of Birmingham

To explain these intriguingly shaped cavities, the researchers studied the eye cavities of 410 fossilized reptiles — including dinosaurs and their closest relatives such as crocodiles — from the Mesozoic era. The geological epoch of the Mesozoic Era is also known as the Great Age of Dinosaurs, which lasted from 252 to 66 million years ago.

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Oval eye sockets
The researchers found that the larger meat species developed keyhole-shaped eye cavities over time. However, they did not acquire such a shape of eye cavities until adulthood. In other words, as predatory dinosaurs grew, their eye sockets became more and more oval.

bite force
According to the researchers, this may be related to the bite strength of the carnivorous dinosaur. and young T-Rex As it gets older, its prey also increases, which means its bite force should also increase. The researchers then ran several simulations to study how the shape of the eye socket affected bite force. This already indicates that the round eye sockets cause much greater tension on the skull during a bite. More oval eye sockets significantly reduce this tension. Narrow eye sockets also provide more room for the jaw muscles. Basically, the apex of predators, including T-RexThanks to the oval eye sockets, he had a greater bite force, without compromising the stability of the skull.

eyes
Although my jaws T-Rex She was incredibly powerful, this was at the cost of his eyes. In exchange for the greater bite force, the dinosaur had to do short arms Unfortunately also with small eyes through life. Narrow eye sockets simply meant less room for the eyeballs.

eye size
The researchers also examined what would have happened if the eye had increased in size at the same rate as the length of the skull. In this case, eyes T-Rex They reach 30 cm in diameter and weigh about 20 kg (instead of the estimated 13 cm and 2 kg).

Tyrannosaurus rex skull with original eye socket and eye (left) and virtual reconstruction using circular eye socket and eye hypertrophy (right). Photo: d. Stefan Lautschlager, University of Birmingham

the findings Emphasize the functional compromises that dinosaurs had to make. And in this case, the smaller eyes allowed more force to bite. Not only is this an interesting new insight, but it finally explains why the horror is T-Rex Equipped with such small eyes. But in its place was the force of the bite T-Rex embarrassed. However, the tyrannosaurus is not the strongest in terms of bite force. The bite force of the now-extinct giant crocodile – which can reach more than ten meters in length – was almost three times greater.

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