Feelings. Tyrannosaurid feelings – #365papers – 2017 – 92

#365papers for April 2, 2017

Carr, Varricchio, Sedlmayr, Roberts, and Moore, 2017, A new tyrannosaur with evidence for anagenesis and crocodile-like facial sensory system: Nature Scientific Reports. DOI:10.1038/srep44942.

What’s it about?

This paper describes a new member of the Subfamily Tyrannosaurinae from the late Cretaceous of Montana. Two important things came from this study:

  1. The different species of tyrannosaurids that occur at different times may be the result of evolution along a single lineage, a process called anagenesis
  2. The structure of the skull suggests that the face of this tyrannosaurid was highly sensitive to touch.

Why does it matter?

Identifing anagenesis in the fossil record helps us understand how evolution actually works. The understanding of sensitivity to touch helps us better understand how tyrannosaurids lived and how they interacted with the environment.

Why did I read this?

I’m teaching about anagenesis right now. And tyrannosaurids are cool.

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