13 June 2024
Nanotyrannus confirmed as distinct species

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Recent fossil analysis has led scientists to confirm Nanotyrannus lancensis as a distinct species of tyrannosaur, rather than juvenile T. rex specimens. These smaller tyrannosaurs featured longer legs, narrower jaws, and proportionally larger arms than their T. rex counterparts. First identified decades earlier as Nanotyrannus, the species was previously misclassified as young T. rex, but this new evidence reinstates its unique classification in the tyrannosaur family.

New research reveals distinct species of small tyrannosaur



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Published on: January 12, 2024 Description: New research has the potential to propel a decades-old debate forward by indicating that 'juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex (T. rex)' ...
Study reveals ‘juvenile T. rex’ fossils are a distinct species
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Hey there, science enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into some exciting new research that has shed light on the fascinating world of dinosaurs. You may have heard of the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex, but did you know that there might be another species of smaller tyrannosaur out there? Let’s dig in and learn more!

Meet Nanotyrannus lancensis

For decades, paleontologists have debated whether certain fossils were juvenile T. rex or a separate species altogether. Well, it seems like we finally have an answer! The fossils in question actually belong to a distinct species called Nanotyrannus lancensis. This smaller tyrannosaur had some key differences from the iconic T. rex.

Size matters

While T. rex was a massive beast, reaching up to 8,000 kilograms and nine meters in length, Nanotyrannus was much smaller. Based on the analysis of growth rings in their bones, researchers estimate that Nanotyrannus reached a maximum size of around 900-1,500 kilograms and five meters in length. That’s only about 15% of the size of its larger relative!

Distinctive features

One of the most interesting findings is that Nanotyrannus had some unique physical traits that set it apart from T. rex. It had narrower jaws, longer legs, and bigger arms. Yes, you heard that right – Nanotyrannus had longer arms than T. rex! In fact, its arms were more formidable weapons compared to the famously short-armed T. rex. This smaller tyrannosaur relied on speed rather than size and strength.

Separate species

The researchers found no evidence of fossils that combined features of both Nanotyrannus and T. rex, which suggests that they were indeed separate species. Additionally, the growth patterns observed in other tyrannosaurs did not align with the idea that Nanotyrannus was simply a young T. rex. This further supports the notion that Nanotyrannus is its own unique species.

A rare find

Now, you might be wondering why we haven’t found any young T. rex fossils before. Well, it turns out that we have! One such fossil, a skull bone called the frontal bone, was discovered years ago but was mistakenly identified as Nanotyrannus. This young T. rex had distinctive features that aligned it with its larger relatives. However, finding young T. rex fossils is incredibly rare, just like finding juveniles of most dinosaurs.

What does this mean for dinosaur diversity?

This new research highlights the fact that there is still so much we don’t know about dinosaurs, even the most famous ones like T. rex. It’s possible that we have underestimated the diversity of dinosaurs and other fossil species. This discovery reminds us to keep an open mind and be ready for surprises in the field of paleontology.

So there you have it, folks! The world of dinosaurs continues to amaze and intrigue us. Nanotyrannus lancensis, the newly identified species of small tyrannosaur, adds another fascinating chapter to the story of these ancient creatures. Who knows what other discoveries await us in the future? Stay curious and keep exploring!

Read More: New research shows ‘juvenile’ T. rex fossils are a distinct species of small tyrannosaur

https://phys.org/news/2024-01-juvenile-rex-fossils-distinct-species.html

FAQ’s

1. What is Nanotyrannus lancensis?

Nanotyrannus lancensis is a distinct species of small tyrannosaur that has recently been identified through new research. It is different from the iconic Tyrannosaurus rex and has unique physical traits.

2. How big was Nanotyrannus lancensis compared to T. rex?

Nanotyrannus lancensis was much smaller than T. rex. It reached a maximum size of around 900-1,500 kilograms and five meters in length, which is only about 15% of the size of its larger relative.

3. What were the distinctive features of Nanotyrannus?

Nanotyrannus had narrower jaws, longer legs, and bigger arms compared to T. rex. Its arms were more formidable weapons compared to the famously short-armed T. rex.

4. Is Nanotyrannus lancensis a separate species from T. rex?

Yes, Nanotyrannus lancensis is considered a separate species from T. rex. There is no evidence of fossils that combine features of both species, and the growth patterns observed in other tyrannosaurs do not align with the idea that Nanotyrannus was simply a young T. rex.

5. Why haven’t we found young T. rex fossils before?

Finding young T. rex fossils is incredibly rare, just like finding juveniles of most dinosaurs. However, one young T. rex skull bone called the frontal bone was discovered years ago but was mistakenly identified as Nanotyrannus.



Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Nanotyrannus lancensis, Tyrannosaurus rex, Paleontology

Tyrannosaurus
Tyrannosaurus () is a genus of large theropod dinosaur. The type species Tyrannosaurus rex (rex meaning "king" in Latin), often shortened to T. rex or colloquially T-Rex, is one of the best represented theropods. It lived throughout what is now western North America, on what was then an island continent...
Read more: Tyrannosaurus

Tyrannosaurus
Tyrannosaurus () is a genus of large theropod dinosaur. The type species Tyrannosaurus rex (rex meaning "king" in Latin), often shortened to T. rex or colloquially T-Rex, is one of the best represented theropods. It lived throughout what is now western North America, on what was then an island continent...
Read more: Tyrannosaurus

Paleontology
Paleontology ( PAY-lee-on-TOL-ə-jee, PAL-ee-, -⁠ən-), also spelled palaeontology or palæontology, is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene epoch (roughly 11,700 years before present). It includes the study of fossils to classify organisms and study their interactions with each other...
Read more: Paleontology

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