Tyrannosaurus vs Spinosaurus vs Giganotosaurus vs Mapusaurus vs….

A few years back I wrote a post entitled ‘Tyrannosaurus vs Giganotosaurus’ as I happened to have permission to post a lovely photo comparing the skulls of each and a leftover image of my own of various big theropods. Perhaps inevitably this has been my most viewed and most commented on post ever, and it’s one that’s regularly thrown up by searches, generally involving Spinosaurus too. However, oddly enough much of the ‘discussion’ and views seem ultimately to be simply about big and bad carnivores. Ask a biologist is not immune to the obvious desire for people to know about large predators and their ability (or otherwise) to beat up other carnivores.

Now from the perspective of a palaeontologist / biologist my answer is generally a simple one – who cares? These animals never met and could not have done so. Even IF they somehow managed it, they would almost certainly not engage in any kind of full on fight to the death. Even if they did, what would that tell you really? I’m sure there were bigger adult rexes than the smaller Giganotosauruses say, but bigger G.s than the smallest Tyrannosaurus individuals. So you have to compare theoretical maximums or averages, but that may not mean much if you’ve ever seen a hyena go for a lion or wolverine go for a bear. Big is not the same as bad, let alone victorious.

None of this will tell you anything about the animals at all, their biology, evolution, life history, lifestyle, ecology or behaviour. It’s an understandable preoccupation for kids and while I don’t think it’s worth the hassle it can be a window into further thoughts and interest.

Which do you think would win? Why do you think that one would win? Could we look at any of those things in fossils? Bite marks, bite strength, mass estimates, tooth shapes, eyesight, acceleration, intelligence – all of these things have been written about seriously by palaeontologists and zoologists with all manner of detail and information available. Reasonable inferences can be made by looking at living species and how they behave (what do different predators do when they encounter one another?) not to mention variation within species about how they are built and how they might act.

The question might be mundane, even vacuous, but there’s much that can be discussed and more importantly learned, if the question is a hook to expand people’s horizons and interest.

 

Now to sit back and wait for all the comments of “But t. rex wud win coz he is THE KING!!!”.

83 Responses to “Tyrannosaurus vs Spinosaurus vs Giganotosaurus vs Mapusaurus vs….”


  1. 1 Jaime A. Headden 27/01/2012 at 9:51 am

    Spinosaur — any of them — arms are certainly “superior” to any tyrannosaur arm, so there you have might on the spinosaur side, although I am sure carcharodontosaur arms have probably got a run on this, given Megaraptor namunhuaiquii. Pounds per inch, though, I would have to favor tyrannosaurs, which meant it could likely push any spinosaur/carcharodontosaur around. Then there’s the teeth … tyrannosaurs again!

    Booo! Spinosaurs for cool factor! Subjective [un]reasoning for the win!!

  2. 3 Dana Sibera 27/01/2012 at 9:52 am

    Othnielia. Othnielia would win.

  3. 5 Brian Choo 27/01/2012 at 11:13 am

    Before the fight can be resolved, Mothra will convince the combatants to set aside their differences and join forces to defeat King-Ghidorah!

    Either way, the ultimate victor will always be bacteria…

  4. 6 Mark Wildman 27/01/2012 at 11:23 am

    Strangely, these questions arise more and more these days since large sympatric theropod populations are actually more common than was previously realised. And, of course, Spinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus are the most common examples cited.

    It’s all rubbish of course since it’s almost certain that big theropods would have avoided each other as much as possible. Intraspecific conflict, you would have thought, would have been more common but still rare.

  5. 7 fernanda castano (@ferwen) 27/01/2012 at 11:52 am

    I’ll be irrational and partial in my argumentation but…Pangea rules: Giganotosaurus for the Win (and for some reason, size is that matters)!!!

  6. 8 beefcake 27/01/2012 at 12:33 pm

    Sine we are talking about Spinosaur, got a more serious question on it.

    How do we know those tall spines belonged to the broken off mandible belonged to the same animal?

    It would not be the first time in paleontology that the wrong head and body combo had been put together, and we don’t even have a full body or head.

    Could it just be some parts of a relative of suchomimus mixed up with bones of a later relative of Ouranosaurus which lived in the area a few million years earlier?

    Also, even if we got the right head and body for those spines, how on earth can we really scale it using the much smaller relatives?

    If for example all we hhad was a T.Rex skull for Sue, and had never seen a Rex before, and tried to scale it with a smaller relative that had a smaller head to body ratio, then we could grossly overestimate the size of the Rex, and likely have the body parts way off such as having the arms too big.

    • 9 David Hone 27/01/2012 at 12:39 pm

      Simple answer, all the original material was found together and it’s rare that multiple animals are mixed together. Suchomimus comes from Niger a long way and different time from Spinosaurus (and indeed doesn’t have massive spines) and Ouranosaurus has different shaped spines and of course non-pneumatic vertebrae.

      • 10 Andrea Cau 27/01/2012 at 12:48 pm

        Rauhut (2003) was the first to suggest what beefcake asked. As far as I know, that’s a possible hypothesis, given thaat Stromer himself in the ’30s wrote that at least one ornithopod caudal was part of the Spinosaurus holotype, suggesting a chimaeric statys for Spinosaurus holotype. Rauhut hypothesi is more interesting: he suggested that a Baryonyx-like rostrum was found with an Acrocanthosaurus-like vertebral column. Pensing a new associated skeleton, we cannot dismiss at all that interpretation.
        I’m agnostic on that topic.

        Commenting on the post topic, Asteroid wins.

      • 11 David Hone 27/01/2012 at 12:56 pm

        Well I spoke to Oli about this while in Munich and as i recall i don’t think he was seriously questioning the general validity of big spines go with that jaw. Certainly they do belong to a big theropod given their structure, though I agree we could really do with better material, though I’ve heard enough rumours from Morocco that there are more or less complete specimnes that this seems valid.

      • 12 Jaime A. Headden 28/01/2012 at 1:08 pm

        I definitely think Rauhut’s idea on this topic was a little shaky, as he posed no reasons to actually doubt the association of material. While the material was found jumbled together, Stromer notes that their association and the general relative size of the material precluded some circumstances suggesting two different animals being preserved together.

        None of the vertebrae seem to be ornithischian, at least, as they are pneumatic, including the middle caudal vertebra. I made this argument here, and Scott Hartman’s recent reconstruction concurs. Andrea Cau’s older reconstruction doesn’t include the caudal vertebra, although this seems to be following Rauhut directly.

        Strongly opisthocoelous dorsal centra and pneumatic neural arches in the dorsal vertebrae indicate they cannot be ornithischian, while Acrocanthosaurus-like dorsal vertebrae have more broader (anteroposteriorly) transverse processes, due to the broad prdl (prezygapodiapophyseal laminae), and extensive neural and sometimes central foramina. Spinosaurus aegyptiacus vertebrae are much closer to typical “basal” megalosaur vertebrae. And still awesomely cool.

  7. 13 beefcake 27/01/2012 at 12:45 pm

    Fair enough, but what of total size, and these 16m estimates? I’ve read things that say 41-55 foot, and that sounds like a pretty big range.

    • 14 David Hone 27/01/2012 at 12:58 pm

      It’s becuase we';re trying to scale very little matierial (most of which is now lost) to a full sized animal and for a taoxn for which we have very little idea of it’s true shape. None of the spinosaurines are very complete, and the related baryonychines aren’t much better. So the variables and uncertainties stack up. It was big, very big, no doubt, but personally I’d say any estimate fro about 10-15 m is reasonable.

  8. 15 beefcake 27/01/2012 at 2:16 pm

    Do we have a decent idea as to what the robustness of the animal was? Was it on the more robust end, or lighter and more Gracile? At least what is known from the bones?

    The possibility of being 15m long, at the upper end of the estimate does not mean its the heaviest, unless it had thick bones compared to the other super large carnovores.

  9. 17 beefcake 27/01/2012 at 2:18 pm

    lulz speller carnivores wrong.

  10. 18 Mark Robinson 27/01/2012 at 2:49 pm

    Small insectivorous mammals FTW!!!11!!

  11. 20 Adam Benton 27/01/2012 at 3:09 pm

    I dunno, I think engaging in a bit of imaginary silliness is a bit of harmless fun and I don’t really understand why people are so resiliant to such discussions. I suppose some of it could stem from the fact they’re asked often so they can get a bit tiring, but ultimatley that isn’t an inherent flaw of the question.

    • 21 David Hone 27/01/2012 at 4:50 pm

      Well it is a bit of imaginary silliness, but rather than just say that it is I’d rather try and do something with it. As I say it’s an understandable preoccupation with kids, but it is inherently meaningless and thus can’t tell you much about biology or palaeontology.

      And yes, it does get very, very repetitive.

      • 22 Adam Benton 27/01/2012 at 6:21 pm

        I think it could be a good starting point for a potential discussion, using the various anatomical features that might have influenced a fight to learn about the species in a proper context.

    • 23 David Hone 27/01/2012 at 6:24 pm

      Well yes I agree, and that’s why i suggested some of them….

  12. 24 Zhen 27/01/2012 at 3:18 pm

    Since Tyrannosaurus had a bigger brain, it was more likely to be the first one to figure out how to use guns.

    • 25 Tim Donovan 29/01/2012 at 12:32 pm

      More likely perfume, given the size of its olfactory bulbs; for guns you need a decent cerebrum. :)
      T. rex probably would’ve had the edge, since it was adapted to fight other dinosaurs, whereas spino was a fish eater. It did have manual claws for use against C. saharicus if necessary, but overall I think rex would win. Btw if you’re tired of arguments of this kind, there may be fewer now that Carnivora is down.

  13. 26 ZombiezuRFER 27/01/2012 at 4:14 pm

    I am firmly convinced that any sort of the measures of jaw power are irrelevant, as all the animals would posses enough power to kill each other. Any bite to the head or neck would kill or seriously injure the other from any of them. With that in mind, Spinosaurus is victor, for being able to open its jaws wider than the others, and for its size.
    Well, thats my main argument for spino there. Sorry for any typos, this was typed on my phone.

  14. 27 reptilianmonster 27/01/2012 at 4:23 pm

    Well, once humankind develops technology that permits time travel and we’ve advanced to a stage of enlightenment where we can truly appreciate the value of throwing two multi-ton theropods in an appropriately-sized cockpit, Aguascalientes style, we’ll find out; I speculate that, more than often than not, both critters would suffer lethal injuries. On one hand it’d be kind of sad, but on the other it’d totally rock because it’d be time to break out the chainsaws and harvest enough meat to make non-avian theropod tempura for everyone.

  15. 28 jetdillo 27/01/2012 at 5:02 pm

    Thyreophorans FTW!
    Bite force is insignificant when set against the armored carapace of Euoplocephalus tutus or the shoulder spikes of Edmontonia rugosidens.
    Edmontonia doesn’t have to care. Giganotosaurus would be chomping down on a row of spikes and E. rugosidens would just slice through theropod thighs like a letter-opener.
    Not many people know this but Edmontonia is a freakin’ basal Honey Badger! No, really!

    • 29 Tim Donovan 29/01/2012 at 12:24 pm

      I have doubts. E. tutus apparently didn’t last alongside T. rex or its immediate ancestor. And Edmontonia (or whatever nodosaur was still present in the mid/late Maastrichtian) apparently didn’t fare well either.

  16. 30 Anonymous 27/01/2012 at 5:52 pm

    I must say I am very disappointed in this post. When I first read this heading on another blog’s blogroll, I thought it was going to be a post discussing the differences between the various genera/species of giant carnivorous dinosaurs that have been discovered over the years. Instead I found what appears to be an embittered rant about how people often ask “who would win in a fight, theropod x or theropod y”.

    Never mind that such questions often get people interested in the similarities and differences of different theropod taxa. Other groups of fossil organisms, such as aetosaurs and uintatheres, would kill for the level of attention theropods get. Never mind that quirky, oftentimes “for fun” discussion or analysis often leads to productive scientific research of its own (e.g. Donald Henderson and Darren Naish’s paper on giraffes floatation dymanics arose from a question of whether or not giraffes could actually swim). And never mind that fossil discoveries have shown that in some cases (as noted above) spinosaurs, carcharodontosaurs, neovenatorids, etc. realy did live in the same area at the same time, and the inter-specific theropod combat may have played a role in these animal’s lives (though, as also noted, such confrontations would more often than not be rare and not end in any form of violence).

    I understand that debates over whether Tyrannosaurus could kill a Spinosaurus are not really deep, philosophical questions, nor do they provide any immediate benefit to understanding the lives of these animals. But still, that doesn’t really mean the question deserves a response of “your question is bad and you should feel bad” that the above post seems to indicate. Especially if the question is asked by children, as it often is.

    That said, I really don’t hope you take this personally, as this is a very nice blog with normally well-written articles, and I usually enjoy reading your posts. It’s just that this one happened to irk me a bit. Sorry about that.

    • 31 David Hone 27/01/2012 at 6:04 pm

      Well you seem to have missed the point there. Yes, I get bored by being asked this all the time and when I do go to the trouble of writing and promoting science communication and palaeontology it’s depressing when this is all people are interested or or turn up only to comment “T.rex is the best”,. But I do specifically say twice in the article that it can be a *good thing* because it can help get people interested in the real science.

      “but there’s much that can be discussed and more importantly learned, if the question is a hook to expand people’s horizons and interest.”

      “It’s an understandable preoccupation for kids and while I don’t think it’s worth the hassle it can be a window into further thoughts and interest.”

      And I even provide a list of things that can be discussed using these very questions as a jump-off point to get people more interested.

      So excuse me if I’m do take it personally being accused of writing an ‘embittered rant’ which actually makes the point about doing what you say I should have been doing. Is there some whinge in there? Sure there is. Do I try and use this to say why I think it can still be used for good? Yes. So a rant it is not and an embittered one, certainly not.

      • 32 Anonymous 27/01/2012 at 6:27 pm

        Sorry, when I was reading through the post it was just very difficult to pick up on the point you were making with using the discussion of body sizes, large predatory adaptations, etc. in large theropods to help boost interestin the science. And having seen some, I do admit that watching people go back and forth claiming “T. rex is best”, “Spino is best”, or “Giganoto is the best” (and so on, inserting your own large theropod of choice) with little to no actual debate or decent argument can be rather annoying.

      • 33 David Hone 27/01/2012 at 6:30 pm

        Thanks for that. I appreciate there is a decent amount of whine there (and as you say it can be depressing) but I did think those points were clear enough.

    • 34 Zhen 27/01/2012 at 8:56 pm

      One of the problems with this is that it’s not just children. I’ve seen late teens/young adults get into this really stupid argument using the most idiotic points to argue these fights. I swear some of the logic sounds like they’re from a kindergarten kid.

      I vaguely recall one guy saying Spinosaurus would win because the sail would keep it cool in a fight, and its massive arms allowed the animal to run on all 4 giving it extra agility. I know for a fact the person who said this is way over 13 years old.

  17. 35 microraptor 27/01/2012 at 6:42 pm

    Tyrannosaurus would win.

    It would have an F-14.

    Okay, now that I’ve got that out of my system, I think that if two of these animals actually met in a natural setting and neither one was sick, injured, or starving there would be a great deal of roaring and posturing before one of them retreated, with no actual fighting taking place.

    • 36 Tim Donovan 29/01/2012 at 12:28 pm

      I dunno..many theropods seem rather gutsy, given Velociraptor and Protoceratops fighting to the death, and T. rex battling others of its kind or ceratopsids.

  18. 37 Henrique Niza 27/01/2012 at 9:57 pm

    In light of M. Martyniuk latest post at DinoGoss it all comes to “… that it doesn’t matter … is in no way about who has the better argument. It’s about who has … ultimately falsifiable hypothesis and can support it with more data, not better analogies.”

    Good luck finding data supporting whether or not A T. rex could defeat A Spinosaurus and vice versa when the two animals didn’t co-exist with one another. This type of approach might get kids interested in things otherwise they wouldn’t be but most of the time they take it to absurd levels, almost RPG like discussions, that no longer means anything to the initial matter.

    I blame Jurassic Park 3… and Digimon… and everyone who wants to smack everything against each other these days.

    • 38 Tomozaurus 27/01/2012 at 10:43 pm

      And yet I love Digimon (and Godzilla for that matter) and hate all these theropod X vs. theropod Y bullshit. I’m just weird I guess.

      Frankly Jurassic Park 3 was the main issue, though it all stems back to the first film in the series and it’s role in drilling this super-dinosaur trope.

      Two things now likely to never disappear from paleo-fans: T. rex vs. Spinosaurus fights and hyper-intelligent, super fast, trap setting, featherless “raptors.”

      • 39 Warren B. 28/01/2012 at 12:58 am

        The ‘raptors’ get me more than the ‘vs.’ fights. If you look in the right (or wrong) places, there’s still a fair amount of resentment about ‘feathered chickens’ ruining ‘badass raptors’ from Jurassic Park – ironically sounding like the fat kid from the start of the movie. Too many people aren’t interested in real animals with a real niche in the world. (e.g. there was a recent Cracked piece including JP’s creature sound effects, and I quote: “Science can go screw itself.”) They prefer dinosaurs to be movie monsters and comic characters, and as such aren’t what I’d call paleo-fans.

  19. 40 Bryan Riolo 27/01/2012 at 10:13 pm

    Questions of which dino would win in a fight causes interest. Interest can be good for science. All your points are valid, Dave and I agree with them. Which one would win among Giganotosaurus, Spinosaurus and T-rex might seem like a superfluous question, since they could not have met in real life, but attempts to answer that question might help find answers to the results of possible meetings. Resolving those questions might lead to great ideas for pictures. I am an artist; expect such thoughts! I love drawing pics of them!

    Put in my vote FOR thought on such questions. After all, only answers and no questions leads to terminal boredom.

  20. 41 Jorge W. Moreno-Bernal 28/01/2012 at 5:00 am

    I guess I was the only one who was thinking, when reading the title, that it was about which was the bigger theropod. I was expecting to see also a discussion on body size estimates and to see that paper entitled “my theropod is bigger than yours…” cited here.

    But I guess I was just biased because of my own interests. By the other hand, I really apreciate the complain on the silly discussions of the “which one would win” type.

  21. 42 Jorge W. Moreno-Bernal 28/01/2012 at 5:09 am

    But well, the disscusion on the uncertaities of body size estimates for theropods was at least slightly touched here in the comments, for the spinosaurs.

    Of course I blame George Blasing and it´s horrible tv show (and others) for feeding the idea of “dinosaurs as vicious fighters”

    A good answer to the silly “winner” questions would be something in the line of what microraptor said “I think that if two of these animals actually met in a natural setting and neither one was sick, injured, or starving there would be a great deal of roaring and posturing before one of them retreated, with no actual fighting taking place.” I would just add a few comments in the aggresive behavior (“roaring and posturing”) of extant animals before giving such an scenario.

  22. 43 beefcake 29/01/2012 at 10:24 pm

    I too think a discussion on who actaully was the largest, or was most likely to have had the most massive top end in size would have been more interesting than arguing over who wins a bar room brawl.

    Zhen put some very interesting information on the other page about a T.Rex that may have been 20-30% larger than Sue. Now THAT is big.

    It would be intersting to discuss what kind of physiologic issues such a large bipedal carnovore would have. Possibly even some good math estimates as to the top end size these guys were limited by, and why.

  23. 44 Paul W. 30/01/2012 at 1:11 am

    Well, if you’re going to go there, I think carcharodontosaurs had more years of evolution obtaining ‘big’ sizes whilst they had all that giant sauropod prey. It seems that tyrannosaurs were kept out of the ‘giant’ predator role in most places until the latest cretaceous. Of course you have exceptions like Sinotyrannus which got pretty big, suggesting the large predator role might be a bit more regionalized than previously thought.

    I’d put my money on the biggest theropods being some kind of carcharodontosaurid but I would say that because I’m biased. :-)

    • 45 beefcake 30/01/2012 at 1:51 am

      Here is the quote from Zhen:

      “Zhen24/01/2012 at 1:41 am:

      From what I know, the largest current T.rex is UCMP 137538 which is 14+ meters.

      MOR 008, UCMP 118742, MOR 1126, and MOR 1152 are all bigger than Sue. There might be a few more in that range too, but I don’t have the complete stats.

      One thing people tend to over look about Sue is that its not really big, but just really old. Growth slows to a crawl around 19 years old, but they still do continue to grow. Sue is 28 years old, and a few tyrannosaurs were around Sue size at 18/19 years old.”

      He is well researched, so the implication of a 14+ meter Tyrannosaur would have been absolutely colossal given how robust Tyrannosaurs seemed to be compared to other Theropods at similar lengths.

      I highly doubt however that even that constitutes absolute limit of the largest ones that ever lived, as what are the chances that a rare truly giant size individual coincided with fossilization which is itself very rare.

      I don’t know who’s theory it is, but I’ve read before that the largest theropods, of several species, may have grown right up to some physiologic limit for a biped.

      Anyone want to take a shot as to how big that limit actually is? 12 tons? 15 tons?

      • 46 Zhen 30/01/2012 at 10:15 pm

        I forgot to mention the “holotype” Manospondylus gigas was also a Sue size Tyrannosaur from what little we have.

        As for weight, not sure, but a 14 meter rex should be around 13 tons or so. Spinosaurus was estimated to be around the same weight, but how reliable that is remains to be seen. Could be heavier due to the sail on its back.

  24. 47 Matthias 30/01/2012 at 7:12 pm

    Hi Dave,

    I am a big big dinosaur fan since I was a child.

    I like all big predators but T.Rex is still my favourit. Why?

    He is the most modern big carnivor.
    Most eveolved of them…
    He lived the last 3mio years…so too what would he further developed if there was no extinction 65mio years ago.

    He has the biggest teeth and the strongest bite and the most massive skull (instructure and compared to his body)

    So comparing him to the bigger Spinosaurus for example …i s like comparing a pitbull with sheepdog. Bigger but not more dangerous.
    (fish eater, smaller teeth etc.)

    • 48 beefcake 30/01/2012 at 10:31 pm

      We don’t even know for sure if Spinosaurus was really bigger. It could have been just 12m. Being that there is so little of it to go off of, I think it would be wiser to start conservative with estimates, and to keep them conservative until more evidence is found.

      • 49 Bryan Riolo 01/02/2012 at 1:29 am

        Seems I might have missed it. T-rex vs. Spinosaurus? Likely the tyrannosaur would win, if spinosaurs were mainly fish eaters. A rex might well have seen a spinosaur as food where the reverse might not be true.

        Then I think of bears, but the analogy in this case does not hold true, since T-rex seems to have been a more robust animal. Thus IT is the “bear”.

        I am thinking whichever attacks first…wins.

  25. 50 microraptor 31/01/2012 at 12:50 am

    Anyone else feel like cringing whenever they hear someone use the term “more evolved?”

    • 51 ZombiezuRFER 31/01/2012 at 1:44 am

      Quite. Especially when its being used to “disprove” evolution by creationists, such as the ol’ “If humans evolved from apes, why are there apes?” type arguments.

    • 52 Bryan Riolo 31/01/2012 at 5:06 am

      Ummmm….no. Should I? And for what reason?

      • 53 microraptor 31/01/2012 at 9:04 am

        Because real life isn’t like Pokemon. Evolution is not a ladder of power progression that makes newer species superior to older ones, all it ever does is cherry pick individuals who display traits that give them better survival and reproductive capability than other individuals in a particular environment.

        A Tyrannosaurus’s status as having lived in the late Cretaceous provides absolutely no more indication of how it would have performed in a fight against an earlier species like Giganotosaurus than Smildon’s status as an even more recent species of apex predator indicates how well it would have performed in a fight with a Tyrannosaurus.

      • 54 Bryan Riolo 31/01/2012 at 7:12 pm

        While your claims are true, evolution does seem to advance species when the subjects are looked at as a whole. Devolution–losing of traits–happens too.

        Or are you going to claim T-rex was smaller than its ancestors? Or that we are less intelligent than apes? While there certainly seems to be no reason for evolution to advance any given species, it also as certainly does happen in many cases.

        “More evolved” can mean more advanced or farther along in changes, which is why I don’t cringe like you do when hearing the claim.

  26. 55 microraptor 31/01/2012 at 11:24 pm

    *facepalm*

    Devolution doesn’t exist because evolution isn’t a ladder. Evolution DOES NOT SAY that something will get bigger, stronger, or smarter over time. Evolution works by animals and plants responding to whatever the selective pressures of their environment are such that subsequent generations will show a trend towards the population as a whole being better suited for the pressures placed on individuals than previous generations were, until such time as the species has reached a point where any significant change in the phenotype results in a net lost of survivability.

    There is no long-term goal with evolution and no foresight or hindsight. Therefore there can be no “devolution” because that term implies a value judgement that isn’t part of how evolution works.

    There are plenty of times when species have shrunk, gotten less intelligent, or otherwise lost some trait that their ancestors possessed. Several examples off the top of my head: Channel Island mammoths, kakapos, and sloths. The mammoths shrank in size after rising sea levels trapped them on islands where the limited space and lack of predators favored smaller individuals. Kakapos lost the ability to fly because they began nesting on the ground due to a lack of predators and flight is a much more energy intensive form of locomotion than walking. Sloths evolved from ground dwelling into arboreal animals, but the shift in their primary food to the relatively low quality leaves favored individuals that weren’t as energetic or agile compared to their massive ground dwelling ancestors. None of these creatures devolved, they simply began evolving in a different direction than their ancestors had because they faced different selective pressures.

    • 56 Bryan Riolo 01/02/2012 at 1:21 am

      Facepalm? Stop the sneaky insults. If you want to slap your face with the palm of your hand because you think I’m non-scientific, go ahead and do so.

      Slap yourself all you please. Please. Do. You have my permission.

      IF you want to discuss the issue, read on.

      An organism loses a faculty/organ it once had, losing an entire ability. That is devolving. Period. I really do not care if “science” says evolution has no direction. Such a claim is denying that evolution exists. Think about it! . If someone is traveling in no direction, WHERE are they going? Nowhere. If evolution does not travel in a direction, what changes will be observed? None?

      Right the first time! IF you are trying to say evolution has no preset direction, I will agree with you.

      We may define advancement/retraction differently. If a species gets bigger brains over time because bigger brains are ecologically/biologically advantageous, then evolution is either moving that species forwards or backwards, depending on what definition you want to use, but said species is not standing still.

      There seem to be species which evolve very little to not at all over long periods of time. Would it not be said that evolution is standing still in those cases? At least, by human definitions?

  27. 57 Jorge W. Moreno-Bernal 01/02/2012 at 2:35 am

    Microraptor is so right:
    “real life isn’t like Pokemon.”
    “Devolution doesn’t exist because evolution isn’t a ladder”
    “None of these creatures devolved, they simply began evolving in a different direction than their ancestors had because they faced different selective pressures.”

    Bryan, I have to say that I too facepalmed in your two comments. But please don´t take it as a discouraging sign. It´s just a way to tell you should read more and review your concepts.
    ;)

    • 58 Bryan Riolo 02/02/2012 at 2:57 am

      I iterated my concepts already. No need to reiterate. Obviously, you think you knew what I was going to say before I said it. Ummmmmm….NO!

      However, if you think about it…I said evolution has no set direction. Devolution is a term for the loss of faculties, NOT a direction taken as directed by some higher power.

      IF you want to give your definitions to what I say, fine.

      Then there is nothing to talk about. I neither need nor want someone else’s definitions for what I say.

      And please. Don’t reply to this if you do not understand it.

  28. 59 microraptor 02/02/2012 at 4:30 am

    And that’s why you get the snark: because you’re trying to apply your own entirely uninformed definition of how evolution via natural selection operates even though it’s already been explained why that isn’t how evolution actually operates.

    • 60 Bryan Riolo 03/02/2012 at 2:39 am

      You are merely parroting words better men and women have worked years to codify. Since you obviously have no original thoughts, why not just shut up? Uninformed I may be about your parochial “facts”, but at least I have my own mind.

      :P

      P.S.!!!!! Obviously, devolution applies here! To you!

  29. 61 microraptor 02/02/2012 at 4:34 am

    In other words, Bryan, you’re making up a term that isn’t used by scientists, defining that term in a way that doesn’t match how the phenomenon actually operates, and getting cranky when people have tried to explain to you what the problem is.

    • 62 Bryan Riolo 03/02/2012 at 2:45 am

      What the FUCK! What the HELL do I care what term scientists use when I was using my own term, though it is not a word I made up? I explained my thoughts, but you seem to think I have no right to them. You sound like a CREATIONIST!

      I conceded you your point–evolution is not a ladder–then explained what I meant, but you’re acting like the paleo-terms police.

      I’d had enough of that way of thinking from my church. Why do I need it from a so-called science buff?

      If you want to discuss matters without dissing me, I will discuss them politely with you, whether or not I agree,

  30. 63 microraptor 03/02/2012 at 5:50 am

    I’d be more impressed by that statement if I’d seen any evidence at all that you were at all capable of discussing things politely, but I find it difficult to regard any calls for polite discussion seriously when they’re preceded by any of the speculations on m character that you’ve made.

    The funny thing about science, unlike, say, politics or religion is that words have set definitions. So it’s really, really odd to see someone who’s insisting on their “right” to unilaterally make up definitions to words, especially since that person displays no actual knowledge on the subject.

    • 64 Bryan Riolo 04/02/2012 at 3:22 am

      Think what you want about my knowledge.

      You have the right to be wrong. And you are exercising your rights to the fullest.

      Setting definitions the way you are doing is the death knell for scientific enquiry. Bakker would recognize your kind instantly.

      The new dogma and new orthodoxy is taking hold. Welcome to the straijacket of a closed mind.

      I had to free myself of that decades ago and succeeded. You so remind me of fundamentalist christians that I have to wonder…are you one?

      You are so sure of “set definitions”, you might like a discussion about definitions some time.

      Beware though…if you are of a closed mind.

      • 65 microraptor 04/02/2012 at 5:27 am

        Ooh, now we’ve got appeals to authority in addition to personal attacks. It’s like playing logical fallacy bingo.

        I really don’t care what Bakker’s opinion of me is, especially if he thinks it’s fine to go ahead and arbitrarily redefine scientific theories however you’d like.

      • 66 Bryan Riolo 05/02/2012 at 1:24 am

        Whatever you say, microparrot. HEY! Raptor contains the same letters as…tah-DAAAAHHHH–PARROT!

        Go ahead and live in your dreamworld. Please. Leave me alone, microparrot.

  31. 67 Vasika 04/02/2012 at 2:14 am

    Intelligence seems to be a rather determining factor in such fights, IMO. Can’t it be, I mean, because T.rex was hunting smarter prey than a carcharodontosaur or a spinosaur, it could win…..I mean, not always, you need to consider the place of a battle too. If it’s on neutral ground which doesn’t offer any higher advantage or disadvantage to its opponent, then it’s a fine, fair battle. Otherwise, say…..Spinosaurus vs. Tyrannosaurus near water…..okay, both might’ve been able to swim but Spino could’ve escaped far easier and faster from a stronger-jawed, SMARTER, albeit smaller and lighter carnivore than itself.

    Spino itself, if pitted againt a rex, would instinctively go in for posturing and using the sail as a scare tactic-like with its neighbors like Carcharodontosaurus, but the rex’s reaction would differ on its personality I suppose. Like, say, it might flee in fear or just attack or just approach the spino if it’s curious. It might attack out of fear too. They might just aggravate each other and maybe even walk away instead of getting down and dirty. Maybe a Carcharodontosaurus might’ve been instinctively programmed not even to look at a Spinosaurus. I mean, I don’t really know how much intelligence is needed to hunt fish and scavenge carcasses, but a Tyrannosaurus, with its better brainpower, might be triumphant in the end.

    • 68 beefcake 04/02/2012 at 11:57 pm

      Vaska, we don’t really know if Spinosaurus was even as long as T-Rex let alone larger. The range for Spinosaurus has been given anywhere from 12 – 16m, which does not mean any got to 16m, but that we simply have so little evidence we cannot say for sure how big it was. I think it would be better to err on the more conservative end of its estimate, until new evidence is found.

      In all likelyhood these guys would just avoid eachother, as fights are extremely costly to larger animals.

      IF a fight did break out, being that size is not a major advantage in any of these animals top end sizes, I’d put my money on bite power.

      • 69 Vasika 05/02/2012 at 12:53 am

        Yes indeed, I am a firm believer in the first avoidance tactic if it’s a fight between contemporaries.

        But then again, how about the smartness issue? Does that hold up? Just a little curious, that’s all…..

  32. 70 beefcake 05/02/2012 at 4:01 pm

    I think intelligence is a non-issue here. It would be too big of an assumption giving far too liberal credit to either of them to come up with a strategy. Even if a T.Rex was smarter, it certainly was not likely going to come up with any better idea than to bite the first thing it can get a hold of.

    Even for a Spinosaur, or Giganotosaurus, or Carcharodontosaurus, they all would likely just bite too. Even if their arms were bigger than those of a T.Rex, they still were not large enough arms to be of any real use in fighting another giant size animal, as all of them had a much further reach with their mouths.

    The Spinosaur arms in JP3 looked far larger than they should be, and certainly were portrayed as far too powerful. We have no real idea how big its arms were, and the best we can do is extrapolate from Baryonyx, which while useful looking for helping grab fish, certainly don’t look built for taking down a big animal in a fight. Being that the animal had a much greater reach with its mouth, that makes me think again, its mouth was its first option for a tool. http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2009/02/03/baryonyx.article.jpg

    So there we go, in a fight my best educated guess is that these guys would bite. So biting power is where I put my money. I put my bet on the Rex for absolute bone crushing Bite power, being it likely comes down to biting.

    • 71 Vasika 06/02/2012 at 1:25 am

      Well the spino in JP3 was exaggerated beyond measure in every one of its strengths (As you said arms being more powerful, teeth being incorrectly shown, skull itself not so correct-correct me if I’m wrong, I haven’t seen JP3 in a long time now-and all) but I always thought that intelligence would do a great deal here.
      Seems I misunderstood some of my own facts and ideas.
      And just like you, I would put my bet down for a rex any day against a spino or a giga of course based on its bite….neither of these can crush bone.

      The title of this blog mentioned Mapusaurus, right? It’d just be purely murdered, if anything else. No argument there.

      • 72 microraptor 06/02/2012 at 2:00 am

        Has enough of a Spinosaurus skull been recovered to provide a guess as to what it’s bite force even was? My understanding was that it had been assumed to have had a head and jaws of the traditional Allosaurus-style therapods that were well known when it was discovered and the newer depictions of it having long, narrow jaws with a forward thrusting head was based on its relationship to Baryonyx and Suchomimus.

      • 73 Vasika 09/02/2012 at 2:01 pm

        I don’t think that a spino’s bite could even draw a lot of blood on a rex. A spinosaur attacking would look like a super-sized heron on the attack; swift, speedy, definitely gonna knock out or kill smaller prey to a certain size, but nothing at a rex’s length and body mass.

        ,At best, rex might get irritated at straight needle-like teeth scratching its skin, and get really, really violent. A rex won’t even need to think twice about attacking in that case.

        I would say that in these fights if EVER a spino is agaisnt a non-contemporaneous genus, it’d be fairly one-sided. The odds would mostly be stacked up against the spino, in fact. Sure, maybe it could do something agaisnt a weaker creature like Rugops or Deltadromeus or….,….a toothless croc with which it lived (sorry for going overboard with details like this) but otherwise it’s finished.

      • 74 Bryan Riolo 06/02/2012 at 2:16 am

        My best guess is who gets the best bite in first. All of these gigantic predators had deadly bites. Speed, IMO, would got to T-rex. Its bite could cut and crush, while Giganotosaurus and Mapuisaurus would be cutters/slashers, while Spinosautus’ bite might be more like a crocodile’s.

        I would give a slight edge to T-rex, but, for the most part, I would say evenly matched.

        As a thought though, let’s imagine these beasts could meet in their own environments, using their own hunting styles. Did Mapusaurus hunt in packs? Did T-rex? Would the outcomes of fights/hunts depend upon which monster had the numberson their side? Would Mapusaurs have been hit-run-and-hide predators? If so, they might win more often. No reason I know of to think T-rex couldn’t handle those tactics. Even again?

        Who knows?–but it is fun to speculate. Imagine the battles in the theaters of your minds and the possibilities are awesome.

        Of what use are these fantasy battles? What if similar sized predators are found to have existed together at some periods in the mesozoic? The current speculations might prove useful in the reality of scientific speculation.

      • 75 Matthias 06/02/2012 at 1:29 pm

        at the end of the trial… you will realize…
        ChuckNorrisaurus exterminate them all 65 mio years ago…

        This month they found an petrified cowboy hat in Texas…
        Discussion closed.

  33. 76 beefcake 06/02/2012 at 3:53 am

    Honestly I don’t think Dino Kombat provides anything more than entertainment, and perhaps generates some interest.

    The issue I have is when people get into rude arguments and resort to ad hominem, or ad populum or other such rude logic flaws.

    Everything comes down to speculation, and in some case things like intelegence and strategy is extreme speculation and the level of hostilty and rudeness in some of the arguments I’ve seen break out on forums is very silly considering its based on very few facts.

    Speculation is fun, but when it turns to “my speculation is better than yours” it gets counter productive.

  34. 77 mrzillajr 15/04/2012 at 4:10 am

    heres the fight:

    t-rex was walking in the dark fog. all the sudden a giganotosaurus appeared fighting a mapusaurus.
    t-rex joined in the fight. grabbing him by the head with his gigantic jaws, t-rex throws mapusaurus. recovering from his throw, gets up to see a spinosaurus gazing down at him. then the spino claws mapu’s face, breaks his neck with his powerful hand. spinosaurus joins the fight. now its t-rex vs. giganotosaurus featuring spinosaurus. t-rex looks at the spino, runs toward it, spino swings its hand at t-rex but misses. t-rex bites spino’s arm, ripping it off. spino roars in pain, then t-rex quickly eliminates spino by biting him by the throat, and rips his throat out. now its just t-rex and giganotosaurus. t-rex runs at giganotosaurus as giganotosaurus runs at t-rex. giga bites t-rex’s leg, nearly crushing it, t-rex roars, then t-rex bites giga’s spinal cord, crushing it and paralyzing giga. t-rex backs away and then rams giga causing him to fall, and he cant get up. t-rex bites giga by the neck, and crushes his throat, killing him. just to make sure mr. carolini is dead, t-rex stomps his head. spinosaurus gets up, runs at t-rex, but t-rex bites his spine and rips it off. then big jaw (a mutated t-rex bigger than v-rex red eye king and megalodon put together with a biteforce more than 1000000000 tons but big jaw isnt real) comes and looks down at the t-rex. then big jaw bites t-rex with his softest biteforce which is 18 tons, and kills the t-rex. THATS RIGHT PEOPLE!! BIG JAW ISNT REAL BUT HE WOULD KILL ALL 3!!

  35. 79 larry 01/11/2012 at 11:06 pm

    t.rex would win because of its muscles and far more inteligant than they others next in second place would be giginotosaurus because of it powerful jaws it could easly snap spinosaurus neck

  36. 80 Keith Mooney 08/03/2013 at 2:23 pm

    has anyone considered a 7ft arm span for spinosaurus and its teeth croc like are meant for bite and hold it can bite the trex and use his arms with the big meat hook arms to tear him apart also if they lived in the same time spinosaurus will have all the battle experience my vote is on spiny

  37. 81 T-Rex is King 01/04/2013 at 11:05 pm

    T-Rex wins its jaws are big and powerful

    My fight – Charcarodontosaurus (I’ll call him Sharky cuz his name means shark toothed lizard) was battling Giganotosaurus (He is named Giga) and Sharky bit Giga on the thigh Giga roars in pain and two more Giants T-Rex and Spino here Giga Roaring and they come lumbering in to investigate Sharky seeing T-Rex and Spino flees running away in panic Spino rushes to attack Giga who slaps Spino in the side with his tail and Spino momentarily stunned is nearly headbutted by Giga but T-Rex gets Giga around the neck with his jaws and crushes down crushing Giga’s neck artery killing Giga. Spino now recovered from being slapped turns to face T-Rex T-Rex roars and spino flees in terror

  38. 82 dael 24/06/2013 at 11:27 pm

    lets leave it to nature; rex is the most evolved and probably the greatest killer given it’s class and what it preyed upon.i think p curry is correct; all the others preyed on large, slow moving prey or fish( in the case of spiney!), rex had more robust opposition to dinner than the others but came to the table with better cutlery! call it as you see it, but look at it without prejudice…mom nature always made the next gen better for a reason…:)

  39. 83 George Hancock 03/07/2013 at 3:32 pm

    I wish the smithsonian meuseam had the same opinion as you rather than posting videos such as T rex vs Titanaboa on their youtube page.


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