Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

This is the closest species toT. rex discovered to date.

This is Tyrannosaurus mcraeensis!

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Tyrannosaurus mcraeensis could reach 12 meters in length. (Artistic illustration)

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A species of tyrannosaurus unknown to date, which walked the soil of southern North America there is 71 to 73 million years old, was described by an American-Canadian team of paleontologists.

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Teeth of Tyrannosaurus mcraeensis

Professor Phil Currie of the University of Alberta and colleagues identified the new species named Tyrannosaurus mcraeensisby analyzing a piece of fossilized skull discovered in the Hall Lake Formation, New Mexico, United States.

Initially, the skull had was attributed to Tyrannosaurus rex because of its similar size which suggested that the beast was approximately 12 meters long.

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The fossilized jaw of Tyrannosaurus mcraeensis was discovered near the base of Kettle Top Butte in southeastern New -Mexico.

However, scientists now say that it belongs to a currently unknown species due to some subtle differences in the shape and joints between the skull bones of the specimen and that ofT. rex.

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The jaw of Tyrannosaurus mcraeensis

Based on the x27;location of the remains in geological strata and comparing them with other dinosaur remains dating back 66 to 75 million years, the authors of the study published in the journal Scientific Reports< /em> (New window) (in English) think thatT. mcraeensislived 71 to 73 million years ago, 5 to 7 million years before the appearance ofT. rex.

Paleontologists believe thatT. mcraeensispopulated southern Laramidia – an island continent that existed 100 to 66 million years ago and extended from present-day Alaska to Mexico .

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They say the species lived there around 72 million years ago, alongside other giant dinosaurs such as ceratopsians, hadrosaurs and titanosaurs.

The authors believe that the size of these giant tyrannosaurs would have evolved to adapt to the gigantic size of the herbivores that lived in the region. For example, some titanosaurs could weigh up to 100 tons and measure 6 meters high and 30 meters long.

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