There are many things that we do not know about the history of the planet, including some unknown species. Recently, researchers discovered a close relative of the T. rex. The discovery helps them learn more about the dinosaur which ruled North America millions of years ago.
A new fossil was discovered and it revealed another stage of the T. rex evolution. The fossil shows that T. rex used to be small at some point. The newly discovered relative of the T. rex was a bit over a metre tall at the hip.
While the Tyrannosaurs rex is known as one of the most dangerous predators that ever lived on Earth, it appears that things weren’t always this way. At one point they were quite small. “Early in their evolution, tyrannosaurs hunted in the shadows of archaic lineages such as allosaurs that were already established at the top of the food chain,” explained co-author Lindsay Zanno.
It was difficult for scientists to understand the evolution of the T. rex, as they did not discover the fossils they needed. However, researchers did discover bones from the primitive tyrannosaurs that lived in North America around 150 million years ago. In time, the T rex became the large beast that we all know. However, it was difficult to connect these two points.
“Although the earliest Cretaceous tyrannosaurs were small, their predatory specializations meant that they were primed to take advantage of new opportunities when warming temperatures, rising sea-level and shrinking ranges restructured ecosystems at the beginning of the Late Cretaceous. We now know it took them less than 15 million years to rise to power.”
The fossils make some light when it comes to T. rex evolution and they do answer to many of our questions.
Patrick Supernaw is the lead editor for Great Lakes Ledger. Patrick has written for many publications including The Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Patrick is based in Ottawa and covers issues affecting his city. In addition to his severe hockey addiction, Pat also enjoys kayaking and can often be found paddling the Rideau Canal. Contact Pat here