Was This Dinosaur a Cannibal?

  • Published: 15 August 2019
  • Paleontologists have spent the better part of two decades debating whether Coelophysis ate its own kind. It turns out, the evidence that scientists have had to study in order to answer that question includes some of the strangest and grossest fossils that any expert would ever get to see.

    Thanks to Fabrizio De Rossi and Studio 252mya for the Coelophysis illustration. You can find more of their work here: 252mya.com/gallery/fabrizio-de-rossi

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: office-2016.info/user/pbsdigitalstudios

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    References: docs.google.com/document/d/1s1CUTh2bAjYomLOq7rzMKAbOn_YD5M1FuBV-5Y_PL5A/edit?usp=sharing
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 870

  • SadWings Raging
    SadWings Raging  52 minutes back

    Looks like meats back on the menu boys!

    • superhamster14 ajpw
      superhamster14 ajpw  4 hours back

      What if they were preganananananate?
      But their is no evidence of this, is there?
      Also, which creatures evolved into felidae that wasn't smiladon?
      Also, when will you guys talk about dinosaur time weed? Like, were dinosaurs just eating plants and getting high af
      Where did hamsters come from?

      • KYS
        KYS  6 hours back

        Chickens are cannibals

        • OHKPodcasts
          OHKPodcasts  3 days back

          Bite marks from T. rex is definitely from fighting

          • Babu R
            Babu R  6 days back

            The mujungasaurus was a cannibal

            • Royle Hun
              Royle Hun  7 days back

              What if my ancestors killed dinosaurs?

            • Akhmed Minkailov
              Akhmed Minkailov  1 weeks back

              most predators eat their children when they born dead... or sick..

              • FeroxCious
                FeroxCious  1 weeks back

                Thanks, Steve.

                • Ian Gillham
                  Ian Gillham  1 weeks back

                  The weak shall die and be devoured!

                  • American Man
                    American Man  1 weeks back

                    Every dinosaur is a cannibal. (Except for herbivores)

                    Modern day animals that eat meat, dont fight with their own species commonly, but it happens.

                    • Bigman Garry
                      Bigman Garry  2 weeks back

                      Yeah they were cannibals

                      • MrTingles
                        MrTingles  2 weeks back

                        what about corn, though. you'd probably be able to tell if they ate corn...

                        • Art Neihaus
                          Art Neihaus  2 days back

                          Thing is that corn didn't exist in the Mesozoic

                      • Massimo Beckers
                        Massimo Beckers  3 weeks back

                        ancient barf

                        • Josh Golliver
                          Josh Golliver  3 weeks back

                          Im never pronoucing majungasaurus any other way again

                          • Nicholas Lienandjaja
                            Nicholas Lienandjaja  3 weeks back

                            To be fair, it is possible that many predatory dinosaurs (probably including Coelophysis, raptors, and even T-rex) were cannibals if they were starving or they had no choice. Many other animals still do it today (examples: Komodo dragons, crocodiles, lions, chimpanzees, and hamsters). Anyone who had kept hamsters as pets should know about this.

                            • Max Johnson
                              Max Johnson  3 weeks back

                              "why wouldn't modern dinosaurs eat their young, if ancient ones did, hmmmm?...... Btw, crocodiles do it all the time, but dinosaurs equal birds and birds equal dinosaurs, so..." Hmm. Real puzzler.

                              • Max Johnson
                                Max Johnson  3 weeks back

                                The "birds *are* dinosaurs" thing seems really unnecessary. They're descended from dinosaurs. Isn't that enough for you? Why do we have to pretend a triceratops and a cockatoo are the same thing?? Are apes rodents? Are snakes fish??? Do we say whales are marine pachyderms??? I ask you this, my friend-- is pluto a planet?

                                • life 7
                                  life 7  3 weeks back

                                  Let's stop demonizing this animal, we are no better. People have and still do eat each other.

                                  • Gary Oak
                                    Gary Oak  4 weeks back

                                    wth is hank green doing on a PBS broadcast...

                                    • Casey Ray Harris. Esquire

                                      T-Rex probably just had many K-O's where their opponents bones never healed because they died after receiving them

                                      • Omar Feliciano
                                        Omar Feliciano  1 months back

                                        I imagine they must have an Hyena like stomachs to be able to digest those bones.

                                        • Jay W
                                          Jay W  1 months back

                                          I gotta watch walking with dinosaurs again now.

                                          • Diogenes TheDog
                                            Diogenes TheDog  1 months back

                                            9:25 bitten but not consumed, it would appear

                                            • Solar Corona
                                              Solar Corona  1 months back

                                              3:30 "Herring Gulls and Birds of Pray" - I'm convinced I've seen documentary footage of Pelicans doing this also.

                                              • THË GÄMÏÑG RÄBBÎT
                                                THË GÄMÏÑG RÄBBÎT  1 months back

                                                Majungasaurus was also a cannibal, but only when they were defending a carcass/young, they would just use them as extra food

                                                • Bill Smith
                                                  Bill Smith  1 months back

                                                  Isn't there a possibility of these animals being eaten after death. And the fellow dinosaurs just being scavengers rather than cannibals

                                                  • Linear Wolf
                                                    Linear Wolf  1 months back

                                                    Dinosaur: Hey sister u looking like a snack today~

                                                    • KawaiiMoon
                                                      KawaiiMoon  1 months back

                                                      I just spent around 3 hours watching you. It’s 5AM. I have three major tests today. Help.

                                                      • Philip Cabrera
                                                        Philip Cabrera  1 months back

                                                        2:37 Animal Cannibals lol. Sounds like a Rap group

                                                        • HellbirdIV
                                                          HellbirdIV  1 months back

                                                          Suggesting that non-avian dinosaurs didn't practice cannibalism because modern birds don't is pretty damn stupid. Just because they're the "closest living relatives" doesn't make them analogues to the much smaller role birds play in our modern ecosystems, non-avian dinosaurs filled almost every niche in their time so with countless feeding strategies, social behaviors and millions of years of environmental changes, it seems rather obvious that cannibalism likely emerged in places.

                                                          • anthony sizemore
                                                            anthony sizemore  1 months back

                                                            T.REX? WELL BANG A GONG

                                                            • utmost submarine
                                                              utmost submarine  1 months back

                                                              Came here because of buzzfeed. Staying because of buzzfeed.

                                                              • 3rdeye Brand
                                                                3rdeye Brand  1 months back

                                                                how d you name a dinosaur if they weren't found with name tags???

                                                                • Jorge Soto
                                                                  Jorge Soto  1 months back

                                                                  he said octopuses

                                                                  • Rubber Dub
                                                                    Rubber Dub  1 months back

                                                                    Strange this is being brought up as they are now on about we should start eating our own dead now... hmmm very sinister...

                                                                    • Dajon Ragland
                                                                      Dajon Ragland  2 months back

                                                                      Because it was weak and recognized it

                                                                      • Ao J
                                                                        Ao J  2 months back

                                                                        Marsh wrens have been observed killing the eggs of other wrens and sometimes other birds. (They peck wholes in the shell)

                                                                        • Michael Crockis
                                                                          Michael Crockis  2 months back

                                                                          Minks have a litter of two. Cubs fight right from the second day of their life and the strongest one always kills the weakest. Nature is not a kind aunty Annie.

                                                                          • Mike Or
                                                                            Mike Or  2 months back

                                                                            Birds are not descended from dinosaurs. They are related, but not descendents of dinosaurs.

                                                                            • Angel Caido
                                                                              Angel Caido  2 months back

                                                                              They must 've been killed by toxic gas during a flash flood and they all ended up at the same spot and were covered by sand and mud.That's why they pooed and vomited before dying.

                                                                              • Mizu Sky
                                                                                Mizu Sky  2 months back

                                                                                You ever wonder if some dinosaurs were some what intelligent and buried their dead sometimes.
                                                                                Honestly it crosses my mind a lot.

                                                                                • Dog Guy
                                                                                  Dog Guy  2 months back

                                                                                  4:40 Middle Schoolers: YO HES GEEEYYYYY

                                                                                  • Sarah bearah
                                                                                    Sarah bearah  2 months back

                                                                                    Prehistoric puke hehe

                                                                                    • Anarchy Antz
                                                                                      Anarchy Antz  2 months back

                                                                                      Thing is, if there is meat sitting there going to waste a predator isnt going to be too fussy. Yes I know some dont eat their own kind but if you have the option of either using up energy to hunt down prey and you could also be injured or killed doing it or chow down on your mate that died trying to do just that...............well like any person that scavenges road kill, why waste good food?

                                                                                      • Sok
                                                                                        Sok  2 months back

                                                                                        How the hell do you look at the stone and say "oh this is vomit"? I mean how can you check that it's vomit?

                                                                                        • LL T
                                                                                          LL T  2 months back

                                                                                          Maybe they just ate the stillborn babies and the ones who died shortly after birth. I had a cat who did that with her babies that died of natural causes. I've never seen any other cat do that. Nor do I think it is common.

                                                                                          • Behold! It Knits
                                                                                            Behold! It Knits  2 months back

                                                                                            The second I saw that massive bone in the body cavity I thought something was off. That'd be like a human having a cow femur lodged in their body. It barely even fit in the dino's entire rib cage let alone where it's stomach would have been. Kind of odd that this cannibal theory was accepted for more than two seconds tbh, at least based on that piece of evidence.

                                                                                            • Wisdomosity Art
                                                                                              Wisdomosity Art  2 months back

                                                                                              When your friend is a snacc