Jurassic Park was wrong: New research finds dinosaurs including T-Rex couldn't stick out tongues


Jurassic Park franchise has long been portraying dinosaurs in the most ferocious avatar with sharp teeth, muscular physique and tongues widely stretching out of their mouth. But, as per new research results, the movie makers were wrong about the structure of dinosaur's tongue, because instead of having tongues similar to lizards, dinosaur tongue was rooted to the bottom of the mouth and just like alligators, the tongue's movement was quite restricted.

The new research, published in PLOS One, has revealed that the tongue of dinosaurs including the iconic Tyrannosaurus rex or T-Rex was a stationary flesh blob on its mouth. However, the researchers made it clear that some bird-like dinosaurs had a mobile tongue. As per the researchers, it might be the evolutionary need to manipulate the prey which helped these pre-historic birds to develop tongue which can be moved.

During the study, researchers at the University of Texas and the Chinese Academy of Sciences compared dinosaurs' hyoid bones, the bones that support and ground the tongue with that of alligators and lizards, the living relatives of dinosaurs. After the analysis, researchers found that hyoid bones of dinosaurs were very similar to that of alligators; short, simple and connected to a tongue that was immobile.

Julia Clarke, a professor at the Jackson School and the co-author of the study revealed that the dramatic portrayal of dinosaurs with tongues stretching out of their bones were actually wrong.

"They've been reconstructed the wrong way for a long time. In most extinct dinosaurs their tongue bones are very short. And in crocodilians with similarly short hyoid bones, the tongue is totally fixed to the floor of the mouth," said Clarke, Eurekalerts reports.

Zhiheng Li, an associate professor at the Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that studying more about the tongue of extinct animals will give more insight on the way in which it lived in the ancient ages.

A month back, a team of International researchers discovered a small feathered dinosaur fossil with some dandruff fragments. The study published in the journal Nature Communications reveal that dinosaurs and early birds used to shed their skin for survival.

This article was first published on June 23, 2018