STL Science Center

STL Science Center

23 October 2017

Cannibalism Imagined

Due to the highly publicized knowledge of cannibalism in Majungasaurus there have been multiple iterations of animated and illustrated versions of Majungasaurus engaging in cannibalism. As stated earlier in the week, the act of cannibalism is intriguing to many different people and that is why there are so many different interpretations. There are two different documentaries that have animated this behavior. The two documentaries independently portray active predatory situations wherein one Majungasaurus attacks and eats a second individual. This, as we stated before, is hypothesized and, while making for good television, is certainly not a guaranteed certainty. In the BBC documentary Planet Dinosaur the predatory cannibalism occurs when there is a shortage of food and two young animals are still hungry, prompting their mother to secure some kind of food for the young. The second, History's Jurassic Fight Club, approaches the subject in a similar manner. Instead, a solitary Majungasaurus eating a smaller dinosaur it has killed is confronted by another Majungasaurus looking to steal a meal. Fighting ensues and one of the animals ends up with two meals. The downfall of both documentaries is not in presenting hypothetical situations or imagining dinosaur fights (most dinosaur documentaries love doing these scenes) but instead in the fact that Majungasaurus was an abelisaurid and possessed very unique forelimbs and hands. The BBC version of the dinosaur is closer to the reconstructed skeleton, but is still a little wrong because the arms are still facing forward and in a "want to hug you" sort of posture.

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