Researcher Argues Tiny T. Rex Arms Had Big Purpose

Tuesday, 07 Nov, 2017

The scientists went on to say that the T-Rex would have made use of the claws on its tiny arms to inflict deep wounds on its prey in quick succession. The massive jaws lined with very big teeth, the incredibly large and powerful legs, and the creature's long, muscular tail are all incredibly intimidating, but new research suggests that the ancient dino's puny little arms might have been quite formidable weapons as well.

It hasn't convinced everyone, as some scientists reportedly believe such a claim is illogical, but it's an alternative theory that indicates we have more to learn about the king of the dinosaurs. The research was officially presented at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Seattle, Washington, in October.

As an answer for the long standing view that that T. Rex arm could have been rudimentary attribute of the animal, a diminishing transformative crapulence from the dinosaur's ancestors.

Stanley is arguing against a trend in recent science that has been playing down the importance of the tiny arms, which are often referred to as "vestigial", evolutionary leftovers that are no longer used but haven't entirely disappeared, like the stub of our tailbone.

However, Stanley's look at the arms turned up six good reasons why they were still important in the T. rex repertoire of weapons. Stanley also argues that the unusual number of digits on each arm - just two, instead of three - would have helped the dinosaur to exert 50% more pressure from each 10cm, sickle-shaped claw.

Furthermore, Dr. Stanley noted that the T-Rex possessed an unusual quasi-ball-and-socket joint, which would have been ideal for slashing since it could move in several directions. In fact, the wounds it could inflict with a single swipe of its pint-sized arms could have been as long as three feet, and several inches deep, which would be enough to cause massive bleeding and potentially even death.

But Stanley counters that these arms first of all weren't almost as tiny as we tend to consider them in our head-they would have been longer than three feet each-and that other characteristics make them much more powerful than we've given them credit for.

"Infliction of damage by slashing was widespread among other theropod taxa, so in light of its formidable weaponry, why should T. rex not have engaged in this activity?"

The limbs would apparently have been slightly longer than the leg of a six-foot man, with a similar girth, and robust enough to sustain the impact of slashing.

Another possibility is that the forelimbs held struggling prey while it was killed by the tyrannosaur's enormous jaws. Tyrannosaurus rex forelimb bones exhibit extremely thick cortical bone, which have been interpreted as evidence that they were developed to withstand heavy loads.

"It might be that the arms were actually more functional in young T. rex, and became reduced to function as it became older", Holtz told the National Geographic.