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CRETACEOUS ASSAULT
By kustom65   |   Watch
154 117 8K (1 Today)
Published: May 17, 2009
© 2009 - 2019 kustom65
There was a theory going around a few years ago: a noted paleontologist was putting it about that Tyrannosaurus Rex--one of the most utterly monstrous creatures ever to stride the Earth--was no more than an undignified grovelling scavenger.

I disagreed, and was moved strongly to illustrate the point.

Sure, many predators will scavenge if they get the chance, but most of the time they have to hunt. Usually they use the element of surprise, as we see with crocodiles, lions and other cats, eagles, bears, wolves, etc... and as I have shown with T.rex here.

Furthermore, there is always a predator for every grazing animal species, and a TOP predator in every ecosystem. T.rex was the biggest carnivore in its region -- if it wasn't killing the gigantic herbivores, then nothing else could have.

It's fashionable to depict dinosaurs as being very lean, to the point of looking anorexic; but a biped the size of a fully grown T-rex would have required enormous leg muscles in order to lunge from hiding, and to walk at a reasonable pace; powerful legs would also have been necessary to balance the violent flesh-tearing movements of the head and neck during attacks (such as depicted here).

It's unlikely, given its proportions, that the adult creature could have run at appreciable speed -- yet another argument strongly supporting the ambush theory.

I do suspect that younger T.rexes would have been faster runners, and possibly hunted in packs. The monster shown here is an oldtimer, evidently capable of bringing down a Triceratops on its own.

The Attack:
It seems remarkably unlikely that T.rex would have approached Triceratops from the FRONT, although this scenario is often depicted in paintings. It's far more probable that Rex would have lurked in dense foliage and lunged out at the passing horned brute from the side. The Rex in my painting is attempting to pull the trike down for an easier kill; but the trike seems to be responding quickly, wheeling around to gouge his attacker... how will it end?
Image size
1417x1047px 1.52 MB
IMAGE DETAILS
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Macintosh
Comments111
anonymous's avatar
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ChuMinhDuy1122002Gzf's avatar
that is the sick Trike i guess
kustom65's avatar
kustom65Professional Digital Artist
Definitely agree. If T.rex wasn't the top predator, what was? So yes, no argument there.
kustom65's avatar
kustom65Professional Digital Artist
One theory is that the younger tyrannosaurs were the main hunters in a group, and they would herd the prey animals into an ambush by the larger, older tyrannosaurs for slaughter. I wonder if they all really had feathers? Will have to redraw everything if so...!
Thanks again for commenting and faving.
RenagadeRexRider's avatar
RenagadeRexRiderHobbyist Traditional Artist
I love the detail you put into what it's hunting characteristics might have been like and for not making it a cretaceous beggar.... :clap: beautiful~

One would also think that all a rex might want to do is simply run in, give one well placed bite and leave then wait for its prey to die, then "scavenge" what it did kill. as i think i recall reading that due to the ridges in the fangs it had an ability akin to the modern komodo dragon.
kustom65's avatar
kustom65Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! I agree with you about the Komodo dragon idea too - septicemia.
RenagadeRexRider's avatar
RenagadeRexRiderHobbyist Traditional Artist
There's the word:XD:

And no problem^^
TheMightySaurus's avatar
TheMightySaurusHobbyist General Artist
OPEN THE DOOR! GET ON THE FLOOR! EVERYBODY WALK THE DINOSAUR! plz? plz? plz? 
moolate127's avatar
moolate127 Traditional Artist
That is how i think the hunting habits of a rex are! If it ran alongside its prey and took a bit out of their hip, would it reaolly need big arms? no. it would hunt like that and eat the food that it killed. it is not a scavenger its the king of dinosaurus
kustom65's avatar
kustom65Professional Digital Artist
Hey, thanks - I agree 100%. It doesn't make sense that even T.rex would tackle a three-horn-faced monster front on!
moolate127's avatar
moolate127 Traditional Artist
agreed
RobotNinjaHero's avatar
Spectacular work. I love it:D
kustom65's avatar
kustom65Professional Digital Artist
Hey, thanks!!
Psithyrus's avatar
I love how the commotion between predator and prey is tearing up the foliage!

Thanks for sharing,

Blair
kustom65's avatar
kustom65Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the cool comment + faving!
pharmmajor's avatar
I think Calvin put it best; The T-Rex was a predator because "They're so much cooler that way."
Old-PaleoClipper's avatar
Old-PaleoClipperHobbyist General Artist
Not to mention their are specific suture lines in the lower jaw of a rex that are only seen in active hunting dinos (and modern reptiles as well) they are used to absorb the shock of struggling prey.
No doubt that rex would have scavenged if there was something there, same as any modern hunter will do, but given build and skeletal details, it was most definitely an active hunter.

Have you heard the recent "discovery" (if you can call it that...) that Trike was omnivorous?!



Regardless of my ramblings, very nice image.
MugenSeiRyuu's avatar
Pure Hunters or Scavengers are very rare. Look at Lions and Hyenas. They are both.
kustom65's avatar
kustom65Professional Digital Artist
Exactly -- most carnivores will scavenge if the opportunity arises. It's the path of least resistance.
MugenSeiRyuu's avatar
Yep. The life of a Carnivore is already dangerous enough, so why should they take extra risks if there is already food? Every hunt is risky.
hyphenatedsuperhero's avatar
hyphenatedsuperheroHobbyist Traditional Artist
Faved! Not only because of the amazing confrontation you depicted, which is very retro by the way, but because of the plausible explanations given and (most of all), because I share your opinion.
Jack Horner is an ass. Not only that, he's a nutjob. Sure, he found the Egg Mountain fossil site and formulated the likely theory that dinosaurs were in fact thoughtful parents, but that doesn't mean everything he spits out must be treated as factual science. Especially in a field with such a wide margin for error as paleonthology. Besides, as Bill Watterson put it through his adorable character Calvin, "T-Rex is much cooler that way [being a predator]".
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