One of the latest samples to arrive in TimeBase 67’s Pathology Laboratory is a single arm from a fully-grown Tyrannosaurus – and it’s stunned the scientists working there!
Tyrannosaurus is the most famous of all the living dinosaurs visitors get to see at the TimeBase, and we’re frequently asked why these giants have such small arms. The answer has proved rather elusive – Tyrannosaurus are highly mobile and extremely aggressive. In fact, several chrononauts have given their lives in attempts to collect samples and get closer to these fearsome predators. Consequently, our scientists still can’t answer this conundrum with 100% certainty.
However, this single arm has proved to be an eye opener for them. It was found dismembered on the shores of nearby Lake Buck. Two adults had been seen fighting the evening before, and we assumed that it must have been lost in combat. Permission was given to remove it from the environment, although after study it will be sterilised and returned (in accordance with the strict guidelines we adhere to at all times).
Each claw on its fingers measures almost 20cm long and analysis of the musculature suggests the arm is capable of lifting over 200kg – making it over three times as strong as a human’s. All this suggests that, far from these being irrelevant vestigial limbs, they do actually play an important role. No field reports have yet recorded Tyrannosaurus mating, so it’s not known whether the arms have a role in courtship. Neither have they been seen subduing prey with them. A waking Tyrannosaurus was recently observed using its arms to help get itself up, but most agree this cannot be their only role.
If you’re able to visit TimeBase 67 in the next few weeks, you’ll get a chance to see the arm up-close yourself – and perhaps draw your own conclusion about the reason for this physical anomaly on one of the Earth’s most ferocious beasts.
Book your tickets here for Dinosaurs in the Wild tours to TimeBase 67.