According to a recent discovery, the scientists shed more light on Tyrannosaurus Rex evolution. Accordingly, it seems that the fiercest dinosaur that existed on Earth, T-Rex, evolved from a species of smaller reptiles. The researchers unearthed in New Mexico a child-sized dinosaur that is a distant relative of the giant Tyrannosaurus Rex.
As the scientists reported, the small dinosaur is only 1-meter tall, which makes it not taller than a kid. Sterling Nesbitt, an American paleontologist, is the one who found the fossils of this child-sized dinosaur. Nesbitt discovered the fossilized remains of the small dinosaur while he was only 16, and he was a volunteer on a dig in New Mexico.
Now, as a member of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, Sterling Nesbitt analyzed the child-sized dinosaur fossils and released the results of his work in the scientific journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.
Child-Sized Dinosaur Shed More Light On Tyrannosaurus Rex Evolution
“The small group of tyrannosauroid dinosaurs would give rise to some of the biggest predators that we’ve ever seen,” said Nesbitt in his study. Nesbitt and his colleagues named the child-sized dinosaur Suskityrannus Hazelae after a word from the language of a Native American tribe called Zuni.
Suskityrannus Hazelae lived on Earth about 92 million years ago, with approximately 20 million years before the Tyrannosaurus Rex emerged. While this child-sized dinosaur is not the first small relative to the T-Rex, Nesbitt believes that this one is the most significant finding to understand how Tyrannosaurus Rex evolved from smaller reptiles.
The scientific community praised Nesbitt’s discovery. “Suskityrannus is the first really good record of the early tyrannosaurs in North America,” said, for example, Hans-Dieter Sues from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Also, Nesbitt and other scientists agree that this child-sized dinosaur is among the last ones of its size before the appearance of Tyrannosaurus Rex.
With over seven years of experience in online journalism, Vadim is passionate about everything related to science and the environment. For us, he will thus cover climate, environment, and science news, among others.