Bitten Bones Show Alligators are Rough Feeders

What happens when you throw bones to a group of American alligators? This isn't a question for late night horror movies, but for science.

Standing behind a safety barrier at Florida's St. Augustine Alligator Farm, University of Tennessee paleontologist Stephanie Drumheller tossed skeletonized cow legs to a crush of curious alligators. Over and over again, the armored archosaurs rushed in to snap at the morsels, and with every bite they left the predatory hallmarks in the form of punctures and scrapes. These traces were what Drumheller was after. Through understanding the damage modern alligators leave on bones, Drumheller and other paleontologists can follow the depredations of alligators and their ...

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