Tiny T-rex not a species but ‘teens’ who didn’t grow up

New York: Tyrannosaurus Rex (T. Rex), the legendary 40-foot-long predator with bone-crushing teeth inside a five-foot long head, had equally dangerous teens who were not a separate species but kids, a team of researchers has revealed, thus settling a long-standing debate about whether small T. Rex specimens represent a separate genus or rather just “kids” of their kind.

T. Rex specimens at the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Illinois were juveniles that had not yet experienced a major growth spurt before they died, said the authors after analysing the bones of mid-sized T Rex who were slightly taller than a draft horse and twice as long.

Historically, many museums would collect the biggest, most impressive fossils of a dinosaur species for display and ignore the others, said Holly Woodward from Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences who led the study. “The problem is that those smaller fossils may be from younger animals. So, for a long while we have had large gaps in our understanding of how dinosaurs grew up, and T. Rex is no exception,” Woodward added.

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