Tyrannosaurus Rex may have been even larger than we thought; so says a new study.
The indomitable Tyrannosaurus rex has only been in the collective memory for a century and a half. Its discovery is relatively recent, which means that we know very little about this dinosaur. However, it is surprising to learn that the remains discovered are only the tip of the iceberg and that these majestic dinosaurs were much larger than we have imagined until now. This is what a new study suggests on the status of the T-Rex, as they believe they were much larger than we speculated.
Paleontologists at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario, have gathered a series of evidence, and have estimated that Tyrannosaurus rex may have been larger than now thought. According to their calculations, the largest T-Rex could have weighed a whopping 15,000 kilograms, which would make it much heavier than an average school bus that barely reaches 11,000 kilograms. The results of the research were presented at the annual conference of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) in Toronto.
What is the largest T-Rex ever found?
To date, the largest T-Rex ever found is a specimen nicknamed ‘Scotty’ that measured 13 meters in length and is estimated to have weighed up to 8,870 kilograms during its lifetime, which is the same as 6.5 small cars. Scotty was found in the territory of Saskatchewan, a western province in Canada, and is believed to have lived 66 million years ago.
But the new research suggests that the largest T-Rex may have “been 70% larger” than Scotty, explained study co-author Jordan Mallon, who is a researcher and head of paleobiology at the Canadian Museum of Nature. “That’s almost double the size of the T-Rex,” he added.
To conclude that we have not yet observed full-size fossils of the T-Rex, the team of paleobiologists examined the fossil record, which indicates that about 2.5 billion dinosaurs belonging to this species may have walked the Earth. However, of all these, only 32 adult fossils have been discovered, which means that we have very little information about the mightiest dinosaur of all.
Using these data, the researchers finally modeled a growth curve for Tyrannosaurus rex. That is, they stipulated how the dinosaur would reach adulthood and the average size it could have reached. The figures suggest that they were much larger than we thought, and although it is only speculation, the fact changes how the untamed reptiles are perceived.
“This is simply a thought experiment with some numbers behind it. It’s something that’s fun to think about,” Mallon said.
For now, more research is needed to try to find the fossils that will lead us to discover the truth behind these animals. But the research certainly suggests that we know little about dinosaurs, and there is still much to discover.
Story originally published in Spanish in Cultura Colectiva