A study published in the journal Paleobiology reveals that the analysis of 202 tyrannosaurus skull fossils showed tooth marks in 60 percent of the adult specimens.
The height of these scars and the spacing of the tooth marks, motivates researchers at the Royal Tyrrel Museum in Alberta, Canada, that these bites were caused by other tyrannosaurs.
The scientists point out that these wounds were not fatal and that most of them managed to heal. They also explain that dinosaurs applied this type of injury to impose themselves on other males and thus achieve mating.
Although males seemed to be more prone to this type of injury, these wounds have also been found in the remains of some females, which suggests that they may have received them while defending a particular territory.
“The reason for their head biting is unknown, but it could be related to competition for territory, resources or mating, such as courtship rituals,” the authors explain.
“The idea is also supported by other research. Teeth of their own species have been found previously embedded in skulls, suggesting that the species sometimes fought each other. “
Based on the orientation and location of the bite patterns, the researchers have concluded that the tyrannosaurs positioned themselves side by side when they were ready to fight.
Thus they could swing their heads from side to side, trying to grasp the skull or lower jaw with their teeth.