There’s no denying it tyrannosaurus rex he was one of the biggest and baddest dinosaurs to always walk the planet. But exactly how big could this ferocious dinosaur get? In a new survey, researchers have attempted to answer this question.
Paleontologists at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario estimated it was the largest Tyrannosaurus it may have tipped the scales at a whopping 33,000 pounds (15,000 kilograms), making it heavier than an average school bus, which weighs about 24,000 pounds (11,000 kg). The scientists presented their findings Nov. 5 at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology’s (SVP) annual conference in Toronto.
Currently, the heaviest Tyrannosaurus registered is a specimen dubbed “Scotty“, which weighed 19,555 pounds (8,870 kg) when alive – about as much as 6.5 Volkswagen Beetles.
According to new research, the largest Tyrannosaurus “He would have been about 70 percent bigger” than Scotty, said the study co-author Jordan Mallon (opens in a new tab), researcher and head of paleobiology at the Canadian Museum of Nature. “This nearly doubles the size of tyrannosaurus,Mallon told Live Science.
To reach this important conclusion, the scientists first examined the fossil record, which proves it about 2.5 billion T. rex once lived Land. However, only a small part, only 32 adult fossils (opens in a new tab) – have ever been discovered, giving scientists a limited amount of information to draw from.
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Mallon and co-author David Hone (opens in a new tab)senior lecturer and deputy director of education at Queen Mary University of London, he also looked at population numbers and life expectancy to model the largest possible Tyrannosaurus. They also looked at variations in body size based on sexual dimorphism, or differences in size between the sexes of animals within a species.
“We ended up building two models: one that showed zero dimorphism and one that had strong dimorphism,” Mallon said. “Self Tyrannosaurus was dimorphic, we estimate it would have weighed up to 53,000 pounds (24,000 kg), but we rejected that model because if true, we would have found even larger individuals at this point.”
Using this data, the scientists were able to model Tyrannosaurusgrowth curve of over its lifetime and estimates how much an adult could have grown.
Mallon warned that until a Tyrannosaurus is found to be comparable in size to that of the model, the conclusions of the model are purely speculative.
“This is simply a thought experiment with some numbers behind it. It’s something that’s fun to think about,” Mallon said.
Indeed, the survey highlights how difficult it is for paleontologists to draw conclusions about dinosaur species from a very limited fossil record.
“This reminds us that what we know about dinosaurs is not much, since sample sizes are so small,” Thomas Carr (opens in a new tab), a vertebrate paleontologist at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, who was not involved in the new research, told Live Science. “Right now, we are nowhere near the sample size needed, especially when compared to other animal species.”
Carr, who attended the SVP conference, added that it’s plausible T.rex it may have been much larger than any single scientist has discovered thus far
“It really is a beautiful animal,” Carr said. “Imagine a Tyrannosaurus of that size is extraordinary, and I think an animal of that size is within reach statistically.”