World's largest Tyrannosaurus rex discovered

Found in Canada fossil proves to be the heaviest and largest predator dinosaur

The skeleton of the tyrannosaur "Scotty": It is the largest and heaviest of all ever-discovered predatory dinosaurs of this species. © Amanda Kelley
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Primeval Giant: A Tyrannosaurus fossil discovered in Canada is the largest known representative of this species - and the most massive predator dinosaur ever discovered. The animal was 13 feet long in life and weighed nearly nine tons, as the paleontologists report. Especially also: The tyrannosaurs was already quite old after dinamassstabs when he died and was in his lifetime apparently numerous injuries.

The Tyrannosaurus rex - the "king of the chimeras" - was one of the largest predators in the history of the earth. Up to twelve meters long skeletons have been found by paleontologists of this two-legged dinosaur. Thanks to its unique skull, enormous bite power and sharp teeth like steak knives, the T. rex was able to overwhelm even large prey and crack their bones. Despite its mass, this carnivore was also amazingly agile.

A 13 meter long colossus

But how big could a T. rex become? So far, this is unclear because many of the known fossils of this predator dinosaur come from not fully adult specimens. But a skeleton discovered in 1991 in Saskatchewan, Canada, now provides new information. Because the bones were surrounded by extremely hard sandstone, it took more than ten years for researchers to expose the fossil. Only then could they study the anatomy of this "Scotty" baptized T. rex.

The surprising result: The 66-million-year-old tyrannosaur must have been more than 13 meters long. He is thus larger than all previously known representatives of this species. "This is really the Rex among the T. Rexen, " says first author Scott Persons of the University of Alberta. "After measuring your legs, hips, and shoulders, Scotty is much heavier than any other T. rex specimen."

Underestimated True Dinosaur Sizes?

The body weight of the tyrannosaur "Scotty" surpassed not only his conspecifics, but also all other known predator dinosaurs, as the paleontologists report. According to their estimates, the tyrannosaur must have weighed more than 8, 800 kilograms during his lifetime almost nine tons. "That's more than any other gigantic terrestrial theropod, " said the researchers. display

According to Persons and his team, this may indicate that the true size of many tyrannosaurs and possibly other dinosaurs has been underestimated. "This specimen supports earlier hypotheses that there may be a sample distortion of our view of the dinosaurs, " say the palaeontologists. Because hardly any mature specimens have been found so far, the maximum size of many species is simply not known.

Old and full of battle marks

And another special feature is "Scotty": He was quite old when he died. According to the growth rings of his cooking, this tyrannosaur reached an age of about 30 years. "Scotty is the oldest known Tyrannosaurus rex, " says Persons. "After tyrannosaurs Ma st ben he lived an unusually long life." For as the Pal ontologen explain, these predator dinosaurs grew up relatively quickly, but mostly died early.

How hard and violent the life of the tyrannosaurs was at that time, prove the bones of "Scotty". "Everywhere in the skeleton we find pathological changes - places where injuries have left traces in the bone, " reports Persons. Scotty suffered, among other things rib fracture, a severe jaw infection and several bites of other species on the tail. (The Anatomical Record, 2019: doi: 10.1002 / ar.24118)

Scotty the largest known T. rex T. rex . Pro7

Source: University of Alberta

- Nadja Podbregar