Monday, 22 July, 2019

Largest T-Rex yet found ‘lived violent life’

Scotty the T. rex Scotty the T. rex
Sandy Nunez | 28 March, 2019, 19:12

Some individuals were lankier than others and some were more robust. Their study of Scotty was the first to take detailed measurements, and to compare the specimen to other known T. rex fossils, including the famous "Sue", once considered the biggest T. rex skeleton ever found.

"Multiple measurements (including those of the skull, hip, and limbs) show that [the fossil] was a robust individual with an estimated body mass exceeding all other known T. rex specimens and representatives of all other enormous terrestrial theropods", the article reads.

The world's largest Tyrannosaurus Rex was almost as long as an 18-wheeler and weighed as much as four cars combined, according to paleontologists at the University of Alberta.

The record-breaking T-Rex was likely 42 feet long and may have weighed almost 10 tons. Scotty was originally uncovered way back in 1991, but its bones were so embedded in the hard rock that it has taken over a decade and a half for scientists to piece it together into a larger form that could be studied.

"This is the rex of rexes", said Scott Persons, lead author of the study and postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biological Sciences.

The huge predator lived about 66 million years ago, and despite having made it to a relatively old age, dying in its early 30s, researchers estimated it suffered some bumps and bruises along the way.

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Researchers estimate Scotty was about 42 feet long and weighed about 10 tons, and is the largest T-Rex ever known to roam the earth.

Only when Scotty was completely unearthed and fully assembled were the researchers able to complete their investigation. "It would not surprise me that those animals turn out to increase the range of body size, potentially to overlap or even surpass what we know from T-Rex". Discovered in 1990 in South Dakota, Sue weighed in at 18,651 pounds (8,460 kg), around 5 percent lighter than Scotty.

Why it matters: "The find suggests that large predatory dinosaurs probably got older and bigger than paleontologists would have surmised based on now available fossils".

Size isn't Scotty's only claim to fame.

The draft version of the paper also revealed there is no evidence to indicate that Scotty was male or female, and was likely greater than 28 years old at the time of death. In the sub-tropical coastal climate, he suffered from injuries such as a broken and healed rib, a dental infection and may have got into a scuffle with a fellow T. rex - a few tailbones were broken.

A new exhibit featuring the skeleton of Scotty is scheduled to open at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in May.