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Science File | IN BRIEF

T. Rex's Reputation as a Killer Takes a Beating

June 07, 2003|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

For a century, the towering Tyrannosaurus Rex has been regarded as a savage killer marauding unchallenged across the later dinosaur era.

But new research suggests a different interpretation, casting T. Rex as little more than a scavenger, stealing the kills of other carnivores.

Paleontologist Jack Horner says the monster's forelegs were too short, its eyes too small and its speed too slow to make it a hunter. On the other hand, like a vulture, a large part of its brain was dedicated to sensing smells and it could travel long distances.

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