Most `theropod` dinosaurs were vegetarian, says study
Last Updated: Thursday, December 23, 2010, 08:52
  
London: Most 'theropod' dinosaurs, those with bird-like features which walked on two legs and often had feathers, were vegetarian rather than meat-eaters, a new study has revealed.

According to the study of the diet of 90 species of theropod dinosaurs, a surprisingly large proportion of them preferred to eat leaves and grass -- however, T-rex was just an exception.

Researchers now believe super-carnivores, such as tyrannosaurus rex and velociraptor -- the two stars of the Jurassic Park movies -- were the exception rather than the rule, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

The findings challenge the conventional view that almost all theropods hunted prey, especially those closest to their descendants, birds, they say.

"Most theropods are clearly adapted to a predatory lifestyle but somewhere on the line to birds, predatory dinosaurs went soft," said research leader Dr Lindsay Zanno, from the Field Museum in Chicago, US.

Guessing the diet of dinosaurs is not always easy. Some, like tyrannosaurus rex with its bone-crunching teeth, are obviously predators. Others, like the horned triceratops, were clearly adapted to shearing plant material.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, December 23, 2010, 08:52


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