I think it's safe to say we all have a mutual acquaintance named Tyrannosaurus Rex. Up until now, these gentle giants (yea, right) were thought to be hemispherically biased: the fossil record showed that they were only living in the northern hemisphere. Until now, that is. At an aptly named Dinosaur Cave somewhere in Australia, a hip bone was recently found. According to a T-Rexpert, the anatomy of the bone is "almost identical" to that of our familiar northern tyrannosaur, thought it is considerably smaller.
This is where I did some digging and found some quirky news: I guess there's this idea that the T. Rex had a smaller relative that pre-dated it, which I could totally see being the case. The idea is that the T. Rex evolved to be so big being a successful predator after the traits of small forelimbs, large legs, and massive jaws appeared first. It makes sense. But for some reason, a few scientists think that this bone found in Australia is the bone of the aforesaid new species of T. Rex, the so-called "southern cousin" of the T. Rex from the north. If this is the case, that's pretty cool... but if this is just some new scientist jumping the gun to be able to say that he discovered a new species, then it's not pretty cool. It's only one bone, it could easily be from a juvenile, and the only conclusion is that T. Rex's were further spread than we originally thought. Or, it could be a new species entirely... until the conclusions are made, we can only guess. Until then...
Sunday, March 28, 2010
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