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T-Rex Hunted Like Dogs

New evidence says they were smart pack animals

The old view: Tyrannosaurus Rex was a lumbering dinosaur, hunting alone, using brawn over brain.

The new view: T-Rex was a smart pack animal with a relatively large brain, who hunted in packs like wolves.

The old view said that hunting in packs was mainly an invention of mammals. That’s because fossil remains of T-Rex-type animals were generally found alone and far from others of their kind. But more and more of these remains are now being found in groups, especially in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and, most recently, in Alberta, Canada.

Professor Philip Currie of the University of Alberta says tyrannosaurs were fast-moving, canny animals with keen senses and a highly developed brain, roughly three times larger than those of other dinosaurs living at the same time. And CT scans of their skulls indicated highly developed senses for hunting, and enough brain power for wolf-like pack behavior.

“Tyrannosaurids, I believe, were far more complex and more dangerous than we ever could have imagined,” Currie said.

His research is the subject of a new documentary film, Dino Gangs, coming to the Discovery Channel later this year. A book with the same name, by Josh Young, will be published by Harper Collins on May 26.