Rex Remains Unearthed In Montana

Joann Johnston
April 1, 2018

Scientists have made an absolutely astonishing discovery in Montana after finding an nearly totally intact skeleton of a young Tyrannosaurus Rex that died 66.5 million years ago, or shortly before dinos went extinct.

The young dinosaur, which is thought to have actually been 6 to 8 years of ages when it passed away, was initially found by Kris Super, an assistant pupil preparator from the Natural History Museum in June of 2016, yet his group really did not have time to uncover the whole skeletal system, so they could not state for sure what type of dinosaur they would certainly located. As Atkins-Weltman told Live Science, "This is a 1-in-100-million specimen". It fits right between already discovered specimens that scientists have theorized might be from T. rex individuals that died at about three and 11 years old. There is a chance that the skeleton could belong to a fully grown Nanotyrannus instead, and scientists are now looking into that possibility as well.

The fossil includes the complete upper jaw of the dinosaur and all the teeth are still intact. He emphasized how hard it is to distinguish a young T. rex from that of another species since fossil remains of the carnivorous dinosaur are rare. The following summer, they returned and realized just how extraordinary their discovery had been.

Other young tyrannosaur specimens have been recovered over the years, but since animal skeletons change shape as they grow, some confusion as to their evolutionary relationships has ensued. It's unclear, however, whether the bones come from an authentic species or just a young T. rex.

KU's new specimen has the information that may provide the deciding factor of which theory is correct. They expect to publish their findings in the coming months.

University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute's David Burnham revealed that the teeth from the fossil suggest that the remains are that of a T. rex.

Burnham noted that the University of Kansas is fortunate that it has an older T. rex to use as comparison with the latest find, as well another young T. rex on loan.

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This is probably the most preserved and most complete.

"Confusing the issue here is age". "Ontogeny, that's the process of growth-and during that process we change".

"Adult dinosaur bones, especially in the skull, don't look the same as their younger selves", Burnham said.

But the team working with the new fossil can't be sure whether it represents a young T. rex or a full-grown Nanotyrannus until they've managed to study the specimen fully.

University of Kansas paleontologists are now analyzing their find and are planning to return to Hell Creek Formation.

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