EVIDENCE that dinosaurs had it pretty tough in their lifetimes has emerged after scientists released a report on the skull of a Canadian Tyrannosaurus.

The Daspletosaurus skull from Alberta, Canada, showed the young dinosaur was subjected to regular attack, suffering several injuries, some of which are believed to be caused by a fellow Daspletosaurus – which may have eaten him.

The Daspletosaurus lived in the wilderness of North America, roughly 10 million years before they were joined by their larger, infamous cousin, the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

The research also showed the dinosaur, which was the equivalent of an older teenager in human years, may have been partly eaten by members of its own species.

Despite being a teen, the Daspletosaurus was almost six metres tall and weighed half a tonne.

Lead scientist Dr David Hone, from Queen Mary, University of London, said: “This animal clearly had a tough life, suffering numerous injuries across the head including some that must have been quite nasty.

“The most likely candidate to have done this is another member of the same species, suggesting some serious fights between these animals during their lives,” Hone said.

Daspletosaurus, which means “frightful lizard”, roamed around North America approximately 75 million years ago, and is thought to have both hunted down prey and scavenged for food.

The skull was closely examined by the team of scientists, finding signs of teeth marks that seem to be from another Tyrannosaurus. They found several bite marks all over, but the way the bones had begun to heal showed the injuries caused were not fatal.

One of the bites caught the dinosaur in the back of the head and broke off part of its skull, leaving a circular, tooth-shaped puncture.

There is nothing to suggest that members of its own species killed the unfortunate dinosaur, although the researchers believe they may have found signs of cannibalism after its death.

Dr Stephen Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh’s School of geosciences said: “It can be mind-bending to even think about these things as living animals, so we’re always fascinated to learn more about how they lived and what they ate.

“The new study finds evidence for a number of scratches and pits on a skull of a tyrannosaur from Canada.

“They are obvious injuries, so it’s pretty clear that this young tyrannosaur had already lived a rough-and-tumble life before it died,” he said.

Brusatte, who specialises in the study of tyrannosaurs, said that the idea of the vicious species of dinosaur being cannibalistic is not necessarily a new one. He said: “The authors propose that some of these bites were made by another tyrannosaurus, possibly another member of the same species, which would make this tyrannosaur a cannibal.

“This actually isn’t a new idea – a study a few years back presented fairly strong evidence for the great T Rex itself being a cannibal. I think the new study is intriguing, but I don’t think the evidence is a slam-dunk.”

The dinosaur expert also highlighted the substantial problems that scientists face when attempting to deduce the specific eating patterns of the great carnivores.

“Inferring very specific feeding behaviour in dinosaurs is difficult, because we only have bones to deal with, and whatever happened tens of millions of years ago, nobody was around to see it.

“Unless we can match these bite marks exactly to the mouth of a Daspletosaurus, or find a shed Daspletosaurus tooth in the skull, it’s difficult to know for sure what made these marks.”