Tyrannosaurus rex may have actually been three dinosaurs
By T.K. Randall
March 2, 2022 · 4 comments
Was there more than one Tyrannosaurus ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Scott Robert Anselmo
New research suggests that what we know as T. rex might have actually been three distinct species of dinosaur.
It's arguably the world's most famous dinosaur - a terrifying predatory behemoth of the prehistoric age that has since captured the imagination of people across the world.
Now though, scientists have made a discovery that could completely change how we see Tyrannosaurus rex while adding a whole new layer of complexity to its history.
T. rex - it is now believed - may have been three separate species of dinosaur rather than one.
Lead author Gregory Paul (who worked on the Jurassic Park movies) and colleagues looked at 37 fossil specimens and identified notable variations indicative of different species.
They have since named the three species Tyrannosaurus imperator
, Tyrannosaurus rex
and Tyrannosaurus regina
Not everyone, however, agrees with their conclusions.
"I understand the temptation to divide T rex into different species, because there is some variation in the fossil bones that we have," said Prof Steve Brusatte from the University of Edinburgh.
"But ultimately, to me, this variation is very minor and not indicative of meaningful biological separation of distinct species that can be defined based on clear, explicit, consistent differences."
Source: The Guardian
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