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SE Fighting in Tyrannosaurs: Evidence from scars on bones

Abstract: Tyrannosaurs were the largest predators in dinosaur dominated ecosystems across North America and Asia during the Late Cretaceous. Due in part to their size and geographic/temporal occurrence, tyrannosaurs have one of the best fossil records of theropod dinosaurs. An intriguing aspect of these fossils is the common occurrence of healed (or partially healed) bone scars, caused by tooth marks, preserved on their skulls. Multiple lines of evidence, including embedded teeth, suggest these bites were inflicted by other tyrannosaurs, likely members of the same species.

This talk is a “what we know, and how we know it” approach, documenting the occurrence, frequency, and morphology of these bite marks through a growth series, and across multiple tyrannosaur species. This preserved behavioural evidence helps to reconstruct aspects of intraspecific aggressive behaviour in tyrannosaurs, and across a broader sample of theropod dinosaurs.

Bio: Dr. Caleb Brown, PhD. Caleb is originally from northern British Columbia, but grew up in Red Deer, Alberta. Growing up in Central Alberta, Caleb was exposed to Alberta’s fossil history at a young age and never turned back. After completing his BSc and MSc at the University of Calgary, focused on Dinosaurs, Caleb moved to Ontario to pursue a PhD in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. For his dissertation, he studied the variation and evolutionary morphology in horned dinosaurs from Dinosaur Provincial Park. He returned to Alberta in 2019 to become the Curator of Dinosaur Systematics and Evolution at the Tyrell museum in Drumheller.

Caleb’s research interests focus primarily on the palaeobiology and evolution of dinosaurs, particularly ornithischians, concentrating on the growth and evolution of "cranial ornaments". He also has a strong interest in taphonomy, specifically the role of depositional environments in shaping our understanding of ancient ecosystems. Over the years, Caleb has conducted fieldwork in Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, China, and Mongolia.

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