The fossils of a Tyrannosaurus mcraeensis were discovered in the southwestern United States. Until now, experts have confused them with those of the iconic T-Rex.
A new dinosaur specimen that is in no way inferior to its famous cousin. Tyrannosaurus mcraeensis, previously confused with the iconic and cinematic Tyrannosaurus Rex or T-Rex, is now considered a new species of Tyrannosaurus, according to an article published Thursday, January 11, by a group of American, Canadian and British Researchers published it in the journal Nature. The fossil identified in the study was found in the US state of New Mexico in 1986.
According to scientists, Tyrannosaurus mcraeensis would have been about 12 meters long and weighed about ten tons, similar dimensions to the T-Rex, which put tyrannosaurs at the top of the food chain of their time in regions corresponding to modern-day Asia and northern America.
Differently shaped heads
The anatomical differences between the two species highlighted in the study lie primarily in the shape of certain head bones. They were discovered thanks to the collection of new bone samples at the site of Hall Lake, New Mexico.
Comparisons between bone elements of Tyrannosaurus mcraensis (letters with subscript number 1) and Tyrannosaurus rex (letters with subscript number 2). -Scientific reports
If they lived in the same geographical areas, they did not coexist: Tyrannosaurus mcraeensis lived about -72.2 to -70.9 million years before our era, “five to seven million years before” Tyrannosaurus rex, at the end of the Late Cretaceous.
“T-Rex was the largest terrestrial predator of its time and perhaps of all time,” the study recalls. It is therefore not impossible that his recently identified cousin also ruled during his time.
New information on the evolution of tyrannosaurs
This discovery not only formalizes the existence of a large number of tyrannosaur species, which has been discussed in the scientific community for several decades, but also provides important information.
Until now, it was generally assumed that this species of dinosaur originated in Asia and then migrated to North America via the Bering Strait, which forms the junction between modern-day Russia and Alaska. But the discovery of the presence of Tyrannosaurus mcraeensis in North America at least 5 billion years before that of the T. rex seems to indicate the opposite development.
Dinosaurs populated the Earth for a very long period of time, spanning from about -250 million to -66 million years before our era, spanning three major periods called the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous.