Washington, June 9 (ANI): Carnivorous dinosaurs munched their food using at least four distinct biting methods, according to a new research.
The findings of the study, by British palaeontologist Dr Manabu Sakamoto from the University of Bristol, have been published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Sakamoto compared 41 species of theropods - a group of upright dinosaurs that include Tyrannosaurs - to find their 'biting performance' and changes it underwent over time.
To differentiate each dinosaur's biting performance, Sakamoto measured the ratio of the length of the dinosaur's tooth row to the muscle arrangements of their jaws.
His findings reveal that the shape of a dinosaur's skull dictated its munching patterns.
Specialised biters like the coelophysoids, which have slender, narrow jaws, had a biting style that was highly efficient at the back of the tooth row, but very swift at the tip of the snout.
Big biters like Tyrannosaurus had a more consistent biting performance along the entire tooth row.
Velociraptor had a "weak/fast style", biting rapidly but inefficiently, Sakamoto pointed out.
"Perhaps biting styles are conserved by other cranial traits, such as the size of the skull and relative proportions of the different elements of the skull - for instance the size and position of the eyes or nasal cavity," ABC News quoted Sakamoto, as saying.
Once a biting style evolved, it doesn't appear to have changed much over time until there was an opportunity to adapt, such as when a group of dinosaurs radiated quickly to fill empty evolutionary niches, he said.
"This sort of evolutionary change is frequently observed after a crisis that leaves many ecological niches empty," Sakomoto explained. (ANI)