Wednesday, 27 June 2018

T. Rex Couldn't Stick Out Its Tongue

By Mindy Weisberger, Senior Writer | June 20, 2018 05:41pm ET

T. rex may have been a highly successful predator, but it would have been terrible at licking stamps, lollipops or popsicles, thanks to a tongue that was likely fixed to the bottom of its mouth.

A new study calls into question artists’ renditions of T. rex and other dinosaurs that show them with their tongues protruding from gaping jaws — a pose that is commonly seen in modern lizards. But even though lizards are tops at tongue waving, dinosaurs probably couldn't stick out their tongues, researchers recently discovered.

Soft tissue is rarely preserved in the fossil record, so scientists turned their attention to a structure called the hyoid — a group of bones that supports and anchors the tongue. They looked at hyoids in dinosaurs and in their closest living relatives, birds and crocodilians, to see if they could lick the problem of tongue-wagging capabilities in extinct dinosaurs.

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