Science

Researchers May Have Unearthed A Baby Tyrannosaur Fossil In Montana

Researchers May Have Unearthed A Baby Tyrannosaur Fossil In Montana”

Tyrannosaur fossils are always a treat, but finding one as well-preserved as this one is a special treat.

The fossil consists of complete section of upper jaw with all of its teeth intact, along with partial skull, foot, hips and backbones and is estimated to be 66.5 million years old. However, there's also a possibility that it is that of another carnivorous dinosaur. Hence, researchers are still analyzing their latest haul. Some even suggest that all previously found fossils in Montana which were thought to belong to a different species, were in fact the same and represent different growth stages of Tyrannosaurus rex.

The Nanotyrannus is also a controversial dinosaur species because it isn't clear if it represents a separate species or if it is just a young Tyrannosaurus rex.

"The teeth suggest it's a Tyrannosaurus rex; however, there is still more work to be done", said David Burnham, preparator of vertebrate paleontology at Kansas University's Biodiversity Institute. 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.

Fortunately, Burnham says, the university is lucky to have a mature T. rex in its possession to make comparisons. "Ontogeny, that's the process of growth - and during that process we change".

The researcher said that the confusing issue with the find is the dinosaur's age, citing that the bones of adult dinosaurs, particularly the skull, do not look the same as when they were younger. "We think and hope there's more there". "It's reasonable to assume Nanotyrannus could be valid - but we must show it's not just a stage in the life history of T. rex".

The debate dates back to 2003, when a similar fossil was unearthed in IL. As reported by BBC, scientists from Burpee Gallery of Nature located the skeletal system called as "Jane", which might either be the pygmy dinosaur pertaining to the T. rex, Nanotyrannus, or a meat-eating titan that passed away at a young age.

In 2003, Gregory Erickson of Florida State University received permission to slice a fibula of the dinosaur remains and compare it to the bones of known T. rex.

The fossil revealed in Montana can clarify this conflict.

Researchers believe the specimen is a young Tyrannosaurus rex but are still conducting their analysis to be sure.

Over the years, scientists have found a handful of fossils that seem like they could be the remains of very young Tyrannosaurus rex individuals.But for three decades now, other paleontologists have argued that these fossils are actually from a related but different type of dinosaurs, which they have dubbed Nanotyrannus. Burnham as well as the scientists associated with the research, that includes Kyle Atkins-Weltman, will certainly release the outcomes of the examination in the following couple of months.



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