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Palaeontology

Tyrannosaurus rex may have actually been three dinosaurs

By T.K. Randall
March 2, 2022 · Comment icon 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 | Comments (4)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by newbloodmoon 9 months ago
Cool article, but I was hoping that if there were three distinct Tyrannosaurs they would form in to one giant robot tyrannosaur. Guess Ill have to settle for the Dinobots in transformer lore/cannon.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Bendy Demon 9 months ago
Well..it certainly is plausible. I mean..look at tigers for example, you have many different types of tigers meandering around. Bengal, Siberian, Sumatran..so why not different species of T-Rex? After all they and other animals lived on various parts of the world despite the continents not being then as they are now. Neat article.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Carnoferox 9 months ago
This is a fringe claim that the majority of paleontologists who work on tyrannosaurs reject. The concept of multiple species of Tyrannosaurus is perfectly reasonable, but the 2 characteristics used by these authors to distinguish the species are laughably weak.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Hammerclaw 9 months ago
Dinosaurs hatched tiny but fully formed. They filled different ecological niches in the course of their relatively rapid growth that various sized mammals fill today. Their bones were subject to subtle changes in morphology as they matured.


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