TREEOSAUR.com
July 12, 2010 2:31 PM   Subscribe

"Like many paleontologists, I believe that T. rex was a hunter: a forest hunter. More specifically, I believe that T. rex used the very same hunting strategy that millions of forest hunters practice today: stand hunting from a tree."
posted by brundlefly (66 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Stand in the place where you hunt
Now face North
Think about your tiny arms
Wonder why you have em at all
posted by Babblesort at 2:35 PM on July 12, 2010 [78 favorites]


Duh, everyone knows there weren't any trees in dinosaur days.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:36 PM on July 12, 2010


Are there any modern predators that use this strategy? I can't think of any.
posted by GuyZero at 2:37 PM on July 12, 2010


Are there any modern predators that use this strategy?

Geese.
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:37 PM on July 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


"I am so totally a tree right now. Make like a tree and get outta here NOthat'snotright! Think tree thoughts."
posted by pyrex at 2:38 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


GuyZero, there's Doug.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:38 PM on July 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


If I was a T. Rex I would fucking bite everything.
posted by Mister_A at 2:39 PM on July 12, 2010 [16 favorites]


Are there any modern predators that use this strategy?

.. IT'S MAN.
posted by pyrex at 2:39 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


What T. rex? All I see is an unusually thick tree with a long, snaky root on one side and sixty razor-sharp, 9" teetFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:39 PM on July 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


I use this technique when I go snipe hunting, and I always wear my T Rex pajamas.
posted by nola at 2:42 PM on July 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Are there any modern predators that use this strategy? I can't think of any.

It was used with some effectiveness on a Predator in 1987.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:43 PM on July 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


There's a fatal flaw in his analysis. Humans use stand hunting from a tree because it makes it easier to carry and enjoy your beer. Sadly, T. Rex's brain was the size of a walnut, and therefore drank only Grey Goose vodka.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:49 PM on July 12, 2010 [14 favorites]


We're really never going to know how and what these things hunted and ate, and what if any purpose their comically small forelegs served until we are able to make some decent clones of them and let them loose for observation.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:51 PM on July 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


I can't get the illustration out of my head. A lone t-rex, slumped against the stump of a tree and looking up at the prey that is far out of reach. He's even lost the will to support his own spine. It's like the only thing that went extinct was its will to live.
posted by Think_Long at 2:52 PM on July 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


This illustration has totally made my day.
posted by Kabanos at 2:53 PM on July 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


A strategy so effective that all mammals abandoned it until after the invention of the gun and camo pants.
posted by GuyZero at 2:53 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Duh, everyone knows there weren't any trees in dinosaur days.

Well there were trees, but no flowers! (until very late (the Cretaceous))
posted by atrazine at 2:57 PM on July 12, 2010


T-Rex plans a treasure hunt.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:58 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe TRex was shaking the tree until the tasty little mammals fell out? And since he had such tiny arms, none of them ever did and so the dinosaurs died and got eaten up by the lemurs and the shrews and the other tasty little mammals?
posted by jenkinsEar at 3:01 PM on July 12, 2010


It's possible T-Rex backs you up on this in panel #5.
posted by klausman at 3:01 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


oh boy... and this one has totally made my week.
posted by Kabanos at 3:02 PM on July 12, 2010 [34 favorites]


It's as if James Thurber came back as a pretentious, long winded idiot, lacking all his former talents except the ability to draw cute cartoons of imaginary situations.
posted by bearwife at 3:03 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


what if it like just shook the tree and opened its mouth

that seems more effective
posted by TwelveTwo at 3:03 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


what if it like just shook the tree and opened its mouth

a) that not what he's theorizing

b) did anything live in trees back then? and back to the "did trees exist back then" issue.
posted by GuyZero at 3:08 PM on July 12, 2010


I went just so I could get my snark on, but, while I may doubt his conclusions, it does seem like he's done his basic research.
posted by lekvar at 3:09 PM on July 12, 2010


Awww, that little Rexie luvs his tree. Look at the way he's hugging it. Such a sweet lil' Rexie.
posted by quin at 3:12 PM on July 12, 2010


I can't be the only one who clicked on that link expecting to see a T-rex atop a branch, ready to pounce, can I?
posted by Comrade_robot at 3:16 PM on July 12, 2010 [36 favorites]


Oh how I wish I'd lived in Paleo..Ceno..Mesoz...Dinosaur Times(!) so I could tickle a T-Rex and have it wave it's little forearms about ineffectually whilst saying "Stop iiit... STOP ittt!!"
posted by vectr at 3:18 PM on July 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


As an ecologist I really can't make fun of this guy. Most everyone who spends time trying to figure out how animals use habitat is going to recognize the thought process here. Keeping an open door for crazy ideas somewhere in your head is important!

This guy had a wild idea that kept nagging at him based on his observations, he tested his ideas as best he could in the field, and has modified them as results come in. Finally he's put his theories out there, clearly explained and asked for feedback, which takes some guts even if you're a member of the scientific community, never mind if you're not. I hope he's gotten some respectful feedback from folks in the field, even if they totally disagree with him, he's obviously an enthusiast and every field of scientific endeavor needs more of those.
posted by fshgrl at 3:23 PM on July 12, 2010 [45 favorites]


The perfect post for:
I Am A Paleontologist
posted by memebake at 3:23 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hear, hear, fshgrl.
posted by brundlefly at 3:25 PM on July 12, 2010


oh boy... and this one has totally made my week.

I want that T-shirt!
posted by yeti at 3:26 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I want that T-shirt!

The diagram is called brainstorm.gif - that needs to be a caption on the shirt!
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:34 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


A t-rex doesn't want to be a tree, he wants to hunt!
posted by geoff. at 3:42 PM on July 12, 2010


I'm with the even if not true, still interesting camp.

It's overall plausibility will probably come down to the biomechanics of the thing, could the T-Rex maintain that position, move around the tree, and if it could, could it get out of that position fast enough to chase down a prey animal without using too much energy.
posted by Grimgrin at 3:50 PM on July 12, 2010


It's lonely out there in the forest. Lots of time to think. And to smoke up. A lot.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:50 PM on July 12, 2010


So I saw Jurassic Park for the first time since it came out thanks to Syfy showing it in a blitz this weekend and I have to say, while *I* know Dinos where probably all feathered and Veliocraptors are the size of chickens, it still holds up. I didn't get the "ugh CGI" shivers nearly as much as I thought I would. Go puppets!

people don't like the idea of the T. Rex being a scavenger? Why? It presumes that there are SO MANY HUGE THINGS that it can just wander around and find shit, scare everyone off and eat it. It implies so much
posted by The Whelk at 4:05 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was hoping that the T. Rex would be the long-lost ancestor of the drop croc.
posted by adipocere at 4:15 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


*sigh*
you know, the nomnomnom tag exists for a reason.
posted by sexyrobot at 4:24 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Fixed. Sorry about that, sexyrobot.
posted by brundlefly at 4:25 PM on July 12, 2010


If you're going to link to a picture of a T. rex fucking a tree you could at least use the NSFW tag!
posted by cjorgensen at 4:32 PM on July 12, 2010


((stand hunting) from a tree) not (stand (hunting from a tree))
posted by DU at 4:34 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


T Rex in action.
posted by hippybear at 4:39 PM on July 12, 2010


Mammalia: Popcorn of the Cretaceous.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:48 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I didn't get the "ugh CGI" shivers nearly as much as I thought I would.

Seriously, Jurassic Park is like, immune to aging or something. I still can't believe how real it looks and that came out in friggin' 1993. That's the same year that brought us such SFX giants as, for example, Hocus Pocus, Super Mario Bros., and RoboCop 3.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 5:21 PM on July 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


no

he has utterly neglected the obvious fact that today's fireflies are descended from t rex - and t rex's tail was as bright as a car headlight - when prey was spotted he would back up to them and then twist around and pounce when he was almost upon his victim

in short, t rex shined his prey and there weren't any bastards from the dnr to stop him
posted by pyramid termite at 5:32 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I so wanted this to be about T-Rex dropping on prey from heights, but there's no way it could climb a tree with those dinky little forearms.
posted by bwg at 5:36 PM on July 12, 2010


Treeosaur sideways maneuver to zero in on the vibration hot spot.

Giggity.
posted by zephyr_words at 5:37 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


oh boy... and this one has totally made my week.

I want that T-shirt!

The diagram is called brainstorm.gif - that needs to be a caption on the shirt!


I am imagining the NO NO NO MAYBE as coming from the tree in response to the T-rex's advances.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:00 PM on July 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


We sorted this out already: T. Rex is a scavenger, not a predator.
posted by absalom at 6:33 PM on July 12, 2010


I was hoping that the T. Rex would be the long-lost ancestor of the drop croc.

I click this link, and I see the name Mekosuchus inexpectans. And I think "Ohhhhh I hope that 'inexpectans' is there for the reason I immediately think it is, oh please oh please."

I continue reading: ...a short snouted large eyed species that has been nicknamed the 'drop croc' as it is hypothesised it may have attacked prey by climbing trees and dropping on them.

Yes. Oh happy day, that is exactly what it is. Crocodiles performing KIERKE-GAARDs. I can't believe I get to imagine that for the right reasons.
posted by jinjo at 6:46 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Tree is not helping Dinosaur Overcome Boundary Issues.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:48 PM on July 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


it's amazing that two great theories were invented during to an epiphany nearby a tree: gravity when Newton was struck on the head by a falling apple and this theory when the author assumed the T-Rex position while fucking his favorite oak.
posted by digsrus at 7:12 PM on July 12, 2010


the drop croc.
Now that's some grade-A nightmare fuel right there. adipocere, expect to be hearing from my cats around 3AM tomorrow about how Daddy woke up weeping again.
posted by unregistered_animagus at 7:34 PM on July 12, 2010


Fucking tree huggers.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:24 PM on July 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would like to say that if treeosaur guy does make a "no no no maybe" t-shirt, I would gladly pay up to $15 US for it.
posted by Think_Long at 8:34 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just realized: he should have called the idea "Tree Rex."
posted by brundlefly at 11:04 PM on July 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I presume that the drop croc was wiped out either from a surfeit of awesomeness, or because everything on the continent was terrified beyond belief of going anywhere near trees and it starved. If you need me, I'll be cowering in the basement.
posted by notionoriety at 11:38 PM on July 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think the thing with Jurassic Park is that they used constructed models/puppetry and full size robotic dinosaurs for a lot of close-up things, and that helps solidify the "realness" of the figures when we see them. It's the same reason why old Yoda will always look more realistic than new Yoda.
posted by redsparkler at 1:00 AM on July 13, 2010


I can't get the illustration out of my head. A lone t-rex, slumped against the stump of a tree and looking up at the prey that is far out of reach. He's even lost the will to support his own spine. It's like the only thing that went extinct was its will to live.

Not every day is a bowl of fucking cherries.

Sometimes you just have to surrender to it.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:48 AM on July 13, 2010


I had an early business meeting the following morning, so I shut down my computer and went to bed. It took me quite some time to fall asleep because all I could think about was T. rex living in forests with its tiny arms.

Who can honestly say this hasn't happened to them?
posted by asok at 4:00 AM on July 13, 2010


(yay, nomnomnom tag!) ...seriously tho, this is fascinating...and i've been thinking about it (and avoiding trees) ever since. i got to thinking 'wouldn't their nests be in the same place?' and then learned the bad news...we've never found a t rex nest, but i did learn this tidbit:
Who could imagine that any creature would lay two eggs at the same time? As in, the exact same time, and plant them in the soil in pairs. That's what all theropod egg nests show: sometimes a dozen, sometimes more than two dozen of eggs, poked into the ground in twos, in circles. Although no one has found a T. rex nest, egg, or embryo, scientists surmise that the largest-of-all dino eggs - up to the size of a loaf of French bread in a nest as large as nine feet in diameter - are very similar to what T. rex must have laid.
ouch!
posted by sexyrobot at 9:15 AM on July 13, 2010


It's a plausible theory. I have to admit to rooting for it from the someone-outside-the-discipline-came-up-with-it angle, but it does fit.

As for 'stand hunting', a lot of animals do that. Heck, depending upon how you define it (and his distinction between stand and still hunting is interesting in this regard) all the carnivores do it.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:53 AM on July 13, 2010


The point of this theory is that T. Rex used its jaw to sense the vibrations of approaching prey. Their footfalls are communicated through the ground and up the tree trunk, where T. Rex senses them through its jawbone.

If this is the case, isn't it simpler to imagine T. Rex lying prone, with its jaw in direct contact with the ground? As long as it was still, the prey animals would just mistake it for a hedge/rock/small hill.

Related: are you sure that's a hedge/rock/small hill you just walked past? I mean, really sure?
posted by ErikaB at 9:59 AM on July 13, 2010


Related: are you sure that's a hedge/rock/small hill you just walked past? I mean, really sure?

My future nightmares thank you.

At least I won't be falling into Jupiter tonight...
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:45 AM on July 13, 2010


If this is the case, isn't it simpler to imagine T. Rex lying prone, with its jaw in direct contact with the ground?

if you read a little further in the original post, you'll see the author's experiments with vibrational conduction in an actual tree...surprisingly, he found louder vibrations higher up the tree, due to the wood resonating.
posted by sexyrobot at 3:48 PM on July 13, 2010


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