Previously portrayed as formidable but solitary and dull-witted creatures because their skeletons were always found alone, paleontologists say recent finds in the Gobi Desert in China suggest Tyrannosaurid species had the build and speed for pack hunting and had the brain capacity to work together as a team, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.
Evidence from 90 skeletons of Tarbosaurus Bataar, a cousin of T. rex, strongly implies about half a dozen of the dinosaurs were part of a social group that died together, Philip Currie of the University of Alberta said.
Tyrannosaurids' hunting technique may have involved juveniles chasing and catching prey, with fully grown adults then moving in for the kill, Currie said.
Younger Tyrannosaurid skeletons suggest they would have been faster and more agile than the slower but much more powerful adults.
"We now have a lot of sites worldwide which show these Tyrannosaurids were grouping animals which at certain times did get together into gangs, either to hunt or move from one region to another," Currie said.
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