They discover how big the tyrannosaurus was at birth | Digital Trends Spanish
Two fossil remains, an embryonic jaw found in the United States in 1983, and a claw unearthed in Canada in 2017, are the starting points for a discovery as fascinating as it is incredible: before becoming one of the most majestic predators in the history of On Earth, some tyrannosaurs were barely the size of a border collie dog.
It took a team of paleontologists led by Dr. Greg Funston of the University of Edinburgh 34 years to reach that conclusion. The delay was such because until now the technology allowed to manipulate the fossil of the jaw, just 2.9 centimeters long, without damaging it from the rock in which it remained. After doing so, the scientists were able to create computer models that let us know how big the tyrannosaurus – and possibly its relative T. rex – was at birth.
“These bones are the first window into the early life of tyrannosaurs and teach us about the size and appearance of baby tyrannosaurs,” summarizes Funston in a study published in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.
From the analysis of the fossils, it is also known that tyrannosaurs were born with some characteristic physical features of the species, such as a pronounced chin. Also, judging by the size with which they were born, specialists estimate that for such a large reptile an appropriate egg was needed, approximately half a meter long or about 17 inches.
“Now we know that they would have been the largest hatchlings to hatch and would have remarkably resembled their parents, both good signs for finding more material in the future,” concludes Funston.
The findings offer new clues about tyrannosaurs, a species of which virtually all that is known comes from studying fossils of adult or juvenile specimens.