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What if there were actually three species of T-Rex?

What if there were actually three species of T-Rex?

Until now, it was clear that tyrannosaurs represented the same species. But paleontologists have just highlighted major morphological differences. They showed that there can be three distinct types.

Paleontologists are as excited as we are Tyrannosaurus Rex – O T-Rex. This is the most famous predator Dinosaur kingdom, as far as one of the most studies. It is agreed to say, so far, that tyrannosaurs formed the same species, although with some differences from one skeleton to another.

Study published on March 1, 2022 at evolutionary biology shake the idea. According to the research team, the T-Rex was not one species, but a group of three.

Comparison of human size and size of one of the largest T-Rex specimens. We really want to meet him. // Source: P. Jaworski / Wikimedia

38 samples were studied

Paleontologists have already discovered major differences between some of the T-Rex skeletons: variable durability, and different tooth shape, for example. These differences are attributed rather to individual peculiarities, to different genetic stages in development or even to sexual dimorphism (male/female). But the hypothesis of different species has not really been tested, note the authors, who tried to do so.

They analyzed at least 38 samples. They measured the teeth: the diameter of the base of the teeth, the space in the gums, the presence of one or two incisors. They also studied the bones of the femur, especially its strength. It turns out that the strength of this bone does not seem to depend on sample size, which means that the nature of the femur isn’t just about age – even larger samples had paradoxically thinner bones. The distribution of strong and soft bones is also not equal enough to indicate sexual dimorphism.

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What if there were actually three species of T-Rex?
This is Sue, a T-Rex. This specimen is on display at the Field Museum in Chicago. // Source: Steve Richmond / Wikimedia

The conclusions are clear: the present T-Rex Such a remarkable degree of relative variance, distributed over different layer levels, that the model favors several types that are at least partially separated over time “Genetic or sexual causes.” less consistent with the data “.

What are the three types?

Studying the 38 samples and their important differences allow these researchers to suggest the existence of three different species. In fact, this would correspond to two new types of tyrannosaurs in addition to the T-Rex:

  • T (“Emperor” Tyrannosaurus): These specimens have the strongest thigh bones and incisors;
  • T. Regina (“Queen” dinosaur): This dinosaur had only one incisor and the lightest bone.
  • T-Rex (The famous Tyrannosaurus Rex): This is the already identified species, which has only one incisor, but with strong bones.

The three different shapes are powerfully displayed. That being the case, in the near future we cannot completely exclude that the two identified “new” species are in fact particularly unusual individuals, or that this highlights a very pronounced sexual dimorphism. Study of additional samples will gradually confirm the existence of these three distinct species, or invalidate the suggestion.

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Julius Cottony

Direct from the department Stady