Palaeontologists have come across remains of a small 17-feet dinosaur who died approximately 66.5 million years ago. A team of scientists stumbled upon the fossils back in 2016, however, they didn’t have much time to fully excavate it and therefore, they return in next summer and found out the specimen who died at the age of 6 or 8 years. Researchers found a 2-foot long toothy skull that belongs to the species of tyrannosaur and that too ina good condition which is quite rare.
According to assistant fossil preparator at the University of Kansas, Kyle Atkins-Weltman, the specimen found is one in 100 million. The team uncovered the remains from the ground by excavating it and then polishing it. The fossil is believed to be of a small tyrannosaur which is a species of dinosaur but the findings are contentious since there are not many fossils available that could help scientists distinguish a Tyrannosaurus rex from a similar species called Nanotyrannus that share the same size and certain other features.
The team who excavated it from the Hell Creek Formation in Montana suspects the fossil to be of a T. rex citing the fact that the size and features of the remains fit right between earlier discovered remains aged between three and 11 years old. The baby dinosaur whose age is suspected to be between 6 to 8 years old was discovered by a student preparator named Kris Super who came across the skeleton last year in June 2016. Since the excavating process is very time consuming, the team was unable to excavate the skeleton entirely and had to return the site next summer to know more about it.
The baby T. rex is believed to have lived during the last 2 million years of the Cretaceous period which lasted from 67 million to 65 million years ago. However, the discovery is still in question since it can be from the species Nanotyrannus, a potentially bogus but a small genus of tyrannosaurid family.
Excerpt about Tyrannosaurus
Tyrannosaurus lived in the upper Cretaceous Period between 68 to 66 years ago. Abbreviated as T. Rex, the species belong to genus coelurosaurian theropod who lived on the island continent called Laramidia which is present days America. These dinosaurs ranged up to 12ft tall and 40 ft in length weighing between 8.4 metric tons to 14 metric tons. T. rex is known as apex predator who would prey upon ankylosaurus, hadrosaurs, ceratopsians, and sauropods among others.
Excerpt about Nanotyrannosaurus
Nanotyrannosaurus are dubious species of dinosaur belong to genus tyrannosaurid. As of now, there are just a few fossils available. David Hosbrook Dunkle collected the skull remains in 1942 that was suggested to be of Nanotyrannus. Then, Charles W. Gilmore described this species under genus Gorgosaurus in 1946.