Until now, paleontologists have confused it with the T-rex. With a size of about 12 meters, big teeth and a robust skeleton, it really looked like the famous dinosaur king… However, by re-examining the fossil discovered in 1986 in New Mexico, United States, an international team has just shown that it is actually a new species, called Tyrannosaurus mcraeensis!
It would be closest to the famous T-rex, although it lived about 72 million years ago, or 5 to 7 million years before that, researchers estimate using radiometric dating.
Subtle differences between skulls
It was by re-examining the fossil’s skull and taking new bone samples from the original site that the anatomical differences between the two species were highlighted, particularly in the shape and articulation of the bones, the researchers report in the journal. Nature.
This discovery calls into question the original location of this dinosaur species. Until now, it was accepted that tyrannosaurs came from Asia and then migrated to North America. However, the presence of Tyrannosaurus mcraeensis in North America several million years before the presence of T-rex seems to indicate that T-rex originally evolved in the same territory…