At least since Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece Jurassic Park flickered across screens around the world in 1993, the Tyrannosaurus rex is by far the most feared dinosaur of all. Who doesn’t immediately have images of his huge, terrifying teeth and his even more terrifying gaze spring to mind when just mentioning his name? And who immediately thinks of the film error from the following post?
Every child knows that the T. rex, as it is known colloquially, was a real giant. The largest specimen found so far is called
scotty and was excavated in Canada in 1991. scotty spread fear and terror among his contemporaries 66 million years ago with a length of a good 13 meters and a weight of almost 9 tons. To make those numbers a little more tangible, scotty was about as long as a bus from head to tail, only a lot taller. But researchers now assume that there could have been much larger T-Rexes.
Specifically, paleontologists at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario, estimate that the largest T-Rex could have weighed as much as 15 tons – that’s almost 75 percent more, according to Livescience.com magazine. On the other hand, scotty would be at best a teenager and would have run away quickly if they met. But how do researchers conclude that T. rex could actually have been so much larger?
The statistics do it
First, the experts determined how many T-Rex ever lived. In the approximately 3 million years of their existence (from 68 to 66 million years ago), around 2.5 billion dire lizards are said to have walked the earth. However, only 32 fossils of adult specimens have been found so far.
In addition to the average expected lifespan, variations in body size, sexual dimorphism (sex-specific differences in size) and other anomalies were also included.
If sexual dimorphism did indeed occur in T-Rexes, specimens weighing up to 24 tons could have lived. An eerie idea! However, this model was rejected by the researchers because there is no evidence of gender-specific size differences.
The model that assumes a 15-ton T-Rex seems most likely to them. It should be borne in mind that this has so far been a theoretical speculation. Only an actual find can confirm this. The researchers themselves point this out insistently.
What do you all mean? Would you like to sit in a time machine and pay a visit to the Kreidezeit? Write it to us in the comments!
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