The researchers found that the giant meat-eating Tyrannosaurus Rex showed extensive growth records as a result of mass growth that helped the species reach mammoth sizes in its early teens compared to other theropod families. In a study published Nov. 24 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers studied fossils and carefully examined the growth rings of a group of bipedal dinosaurs. In a unique discovery, researchers noticed that the predator Tyrannosaurus Rex showed sudden and intense growth, aging into a huge dinosaur 42 meters long from snout to tail and weighing nearly 16,000 pounds.
We cut thin sections, holes and more bones from a wide range of theropod dinosaurs:
11 species from 8 families and 4 continents pic.twitter.com/FNEarkOjSd
– Thomas Cullen (@cullen_thomas) November 25, 2020
“We wanted to look at a wide range of different theropods, bipedal, carnivorous dinosaurs, in order to understand the broader patterns of growth and evolution in the group,” said Tom Cullen, lead author of a new study in Proceedings of the Royal Society.
Scientists say the evolution of dinosaur gigantism and its enormous size has long been the subject of intrigue. The researchers aimed to find out if the largest bipeds, theropods, grew into giant structures at the same time as the fossil record was obscured. Multi-element histological analysis of a sample of eight dinosaurs from the tropod family, with a single focus on tyrannosaurids and carcharodontosaurids. “We find that in skeletal mature giant theropods, weight-bearing bones constantly retain voluminous growth records, while weightless bones are reshaped and less useful for growth reconstruction,” the scientists said.
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[Lead author of the study Thomas Cullen at Field Museum. Credit: Twitter/@cullen_thomas]
Furthermore, according to the study, the growth surge observed specifically in T.Rex was different from the pattern observed in smaller carcasses and some other dinosaur species. Lead study author Tom Cullen said: “We especially wanted to understand how some of them became so large – is the only way T rex grows to do that?” Cullen added that the scientists collected the samples with the help of the then curator of the dinosaurs, Pete Makovicki, Field Museum. The giant carchardontosaurid fossils were used as excavated specimens along with two other Argentine counterparts, Juan Canale and Sebastian Apestegia.
“We wanted to look at a wide range of different theropods, bipedal, carnivorous dinosaurs, in order to understand the broader patterns of growth and evolution in the group,” Cullen explained.
Observed variety of different bones
Scientists then studied various bones from a huge range of skeletons to find out how some dinosaurs got this humus. “All of these questions about how tropods grew could affect our understanding of group evolution,” the researchers explained. Through this study, many other critical questions were answered such as the old animal, how much it grows each year and a number of other factors.
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