Don’t Stick that Tongue Out at Me!


Don’t worry. While T-Rex (Tyrannosaurus rex) would have been able to snack on you like a human chewy bar, it would not have been able to give you sass by sticking its tongue out at you. Many illustrations of T-Rex show it with a flexible tongue, able to stick out of its mouth and wave like today’s modern lizards. However, when scientists analyzed a small boney structure called the hyoid that supports and anchors the creature’s tongue, they discovered that T-Rex’s was much closer to that of modern alligators and crocodiles. In other words, this dino’s entire tongue was attached to the floor of its mouth and could not stick up or out of its mouth. Although this discovery may seem a bit trivial and goofy, it can tell us a lot about the lifestyle and eating habits of the T-Rex. For example, they may have used a “bite-and-swallow” approach to eating their prey just like crocodilians today. And I am going to guess they would have had a difficult time making funny faces in the mirror. It seems we still have so much more to learn about these amazing extinct creatures, and I will keep looking for exciting updates to share with you!

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August 6, 2018

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