Dinosaurs Behaviour

Eating Habits

What adaptations enabled carnivorous dinosaurs to eat meat?

All of these dinosaurs, known as the theropods, shared many adaptations specific to the catching, killing, eating, and digesting of meat. These animals had larger, sharper, and more pointed teeth than their herbivorous cousins; they were used to kill the victim and tear the flesh off the body. To power these teeth—and to break down the nutritious bone marrow from their prey—they needed strong jaws and muscles.

The carnivores also had clawed feet for slashing their victims, with the dromaeosaurids possessing the epitome of this adaptation: large, sickle-shaped foot claws. The theropods, being bipedal, had their arms and hands free to grasp their prey; their fingers often had claws used to slash and hold the victim. Being bipedal, they had the relative speed and agility to catch their prey, especially sick and ailing animals. It is thought by some scientists that the theropods had good eyesight, a keen sense of smell, and a large brain (in proportion to its body) to calculate hunting strategies.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Dinosaur Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App