There is no denying that tyrannosaurus rex It was one of the biggest and baddest dinosaurs ever to walk on this planet. But exactly how big could this ferocious dinosaur reach? In a new investigation, researchers have attempted to answer this question.
Paleontologists from the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario, estimated that the largest t-rex It may have tipped the scales at 33,000 lb (15,000 kg), making it heavier than the average school bus, which weighs about 24,000 lb (11,000 kg). The scientists presented their findings November 5 at the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) annual conference in Toronto.
Currently, heavier t-rex A sample namedmy silence,” which weighed 19,555 lb (8,870 kg) when alive – about 6.5 Volkswagen Beetles.
According to the largest new research t-rex “He would have been about 70% bigger” than Scotty, said a co-author of the study Jordan Malone (Opens in a new tab), Research Scientist and Chair of Paleontology at the Canadian Museum of Nature. This is nearly twice the size t-rex,Malone told Live Science.
To reach this important conclusion, scientists first examined the fossil record, which bears witness to this approximately 2.5 billion T. rexes Once lived a land. However, only a small part – only 32 adult fossils (Opens in a new tab) — have been discovered before, giving scientists a limited amount of information to draw from.
Related: A “bold theory” that Tyrannosaurus rex is 3 species trampled to pieces
Malone and co-author David Hone (Opens in a new tab)a senior lecturer and deputy director of education at Queen Mary University of London, also looked at population numbers and life expectancy to create a model of the largest possible model. t-rex. They also looked at differences in body size based on sexual dimorphism — differences in size between sexes of animals within a species.
“We ended up building two models — one that shows no dimorphism and one that has strong dimorphism,” Mallon said. “if t-rex It was dimorphic, we estimate it could have weighed up to 53,000 lb (24,000 kg), but we have rejected this form because if it was correct, we would have found larger individuals by far. “
Using this data, the scientists were able to model t-rexLifetime growth curve – an estimate of how much an adult will grow.
Malone warned that even A.J t-rex found to be comparable to the size in the model, the conclusions of the model are purely speculative.
“This is just a thought experiment with some numbers behind it. It’s a fun thing to think about,” Mallon said.
Indeed, the investigation highlights how difficult it is for paleontologists to draw conclusions about dinosaur species from the very limited fossil record.
“This reminds us that we don’t know much about dinosaurs at all, because the sample sizes are so small,” Thomas Carr (Opens in a new tab)A vertebrate paleontologist from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, who was not involved in the new research, told Live Science. “Right now, we’re nowhere near the sample size needed, especially when compared to other animal species.”
That’s plausible, added Carr, who attended the senior vice president’s conference t-rex It was probably much larger than any individual scientists have found so far
“It’s a really amazing animal,” Carr said. Imagine A t-rex Of this size is unusual, and I think an animal of that size is within reach statistically.”
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