Featured image is of a member of the same kind, Allosaurus
Dinosaurs are mysterious, fearsome creatures. Children are almost mystically attracted to them. These colossal beasts once roamed the earth but nothing is left of them today besides scattered bones and periodic fragments of skin and soft tissue. However, because of their incredible popularity, they are perhaps the most well-studied fossils of all time. Due to its status in popular culture, the Tyrannosaurus rex is perhaps the most well-known and well studied of all time. Due to a recent study, T. rex is in the news again. However, this time, it is for a surprisingly modern reason.
Tyrannosaurus rex is one of the most well-known dinosaurs, and more mostly complete skeletons for the king of dinosaurs than most, with around fifty on record. There is some debate, as there usually is among taxonomists, exactly how to classify T. rex, with some scientists wanting to lump other members of the Tyrannosaur family into T. rex, while others disagree. Creation baraminologists have placed all the Tyrannosaurs along with a few other similar dinosaurs in the same kind.
T. rex is so popular that the United States Postal Service recently released special “forever” stamps with images of a hatchling, juvenile, adult, and fossil T. rexes on them. Of course, the postal service made sure to include feathers on the T. rex hatchling despite no T. rex ever being found with fossil feathers or even filaments and the experts on Tyrannosaurs openly admitting they did not have feathers. This is in spite of the fact that at least one T. rex has been found with intact soft tissue. Anything to promote the narrative to the public apparently.
It has been proposed, though it can likely never be demonstrated completely, that T. rex was sexually dimorphic, meaning it would have been possible to tell which gender of T. rex was walking towards you…if you bothered to look in a post-fall world before fleeing. There is much debate over the spindly arms T. rex and what their purpose was. Some paleontologists speculate they were used to hold struggling prey while others claim they could actively tear apart their prey with their arms.
T. rex’s head has also been the subject of some speculation. Some paleontologists have speculated that T. rex’s head was simply too big and fragile due be a predator and that the king dinosaur thus must have been a scavenger. Others have disputed this since most of the organisms it ate were quite quick and would have required a certain amount of pace to track down and kill. I personally prefer Dr. Tommy Mitchell of Answers in Genesis’ answer to what T. rex ate. “Anything it wanted”.
However, it is the most recent study about T. rex which has drummed up a few interesting comparisons. Researchers looked at the dinosaurs head. There are two big holes in the T. rex skull. These holes, called dorsotemporal fenestra, are thought to have been points of entrance and exit for muscles in the T. rex skull. Researchers wanted to know why. To do so, they examined the skulls of alligators with thermal imaging. This is frequently done in studies of dinosaurs since it is quite impossible to do thermal imaging on the skulls of living dinosaurs. According to this study, based on the appearance of the skulls of alligators, T. rex did not have muscle in the dorsotemporal fenestra. Instead, these holes were passages for blood vessels which served as the T. rex’s built-in cooling system. In other words, these blood vessels were the T. rex’s air conditioning system.
Obviously, there are significant flaws with this study at the outset. It is not possible to study the head of a live T. rex. Alligators are not members of the same kind as T. rex but both are reptiles. It is possible that they would share similar designs for cooling themselves in hot weather. Calling this an air conditioner might be a stretch: it is not fanning air onto the T. rex. However, it was having a cooling effect on the massive dino, which would have been incredibly useful in a pre-flood world where the climate was much different. This research is intriguing, but certainly not definite. It would be interesting to see what develops as a result of this research. Either way, it is not something that creationists should fear.