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Did dinosaurs fight?

Most vertebrates engage in combat either over territory, mates, or food. It's not surprising that dinosaurs did, too, especially since we can observe combat in the closest living relatives of extinct dinosaurs, crocodiles and birds. One 65-million-year-old skeleton of Tyrannosaurus rex discovered in South Dakota has telltale battle scars. One eye socket in the skull is nearly closed by abnormal healing of the surrounding bone. On another part of the skull, the broken tip of a tooth from another tyrannosaur in embedded. Around this tooth are the characteristic marks of bone growth that occurs during healing, indicating that the animal survived the attack. Created by American Museum of Natural History.

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Video transcript

When we say fighting, there's different kinds of fighting, like one is just carnivory, a wolf goes and attacks a deer, the deer is gonna fight back, so that's not really fighting. I think when we say fighting we mean more sort of conspecific fighting, you know that, geting into fights with members of your own species, and usually thats over territory mates and food and that kind of thing. We have a little bit of evidence of that certainly that some of the big carnivorous dinosaurs, like Tyrannosaurus Rex on occasion have been found with bite marks on their faces that have healed from other Tyrannosaurus specimens.