Science & Tech

Tyrannosaurus Rex may have been three separate dinosaurs, new study claims

Tyrannosaurus Rex may have been three separate dinosaurs, new study claims
Researchers Suggest Tyrannosaurus Had 3 Separate Species, Not Just Rex
Wibbitz - News / VideoElephant

In news that would blow the minds of most dinosaur-obsessed kids like us growing up, it’s been revealed that the Tyrannosaurus may well have developed into three separate species.

Let us explain.

Everyone is familiar with the Tyrannosaurus Rex, probably the most famous dinosaur ever and the stuff of nightmares captured in Jurassic Park, but a new study has shone a light on two other variations.

From the new findings, experts led by paleontologist Gregory Paul claimed that their research into around three dozen fossils and their variations led them to discover two new species – which they’re calling Tyrannosaurus Imperator and Tyrannosaurus Regina.

While others dispute the claims, Paul stated that the fossils featured differences in key features such as the size of the femurs and thigh bones as well as the number of teeth.

Richard Sutcliffe/Creative Commons

Paul said in a statement published to Evolutionary Biology: "After over a century of all specimens being placed into one species without the issue being carefully examined, the first and only analysis finds that the variation in Tyrannosaurus is beyond the norms for dinosaurs, and is distributed over time in a manner that indicates that Darwinian speciation from one (species) to two new species had occurred before the final dinosaur extinction cut off further evolution.”

Other experts have pointed to the fact that the differences between the supposedly separate species are not big enough.

University of Edinburgh paleontologist Steve Brusatte said: "Ultimately, to me, this variation is very minor and not indicative of meaningful biological separation of distinct species that can be defined based on clear, explicit, consistent differences.

It's hard to define a species, even for animals today, and these fossils have no genetic evidence that can test whether there were truly separate populations."

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