Paleontologists have discovered a new fossil in the Hell Creek Formation in Montana and believe the specimen belongs to a young Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur.
The fossil consists of a complete section of the maxilla with intact teeth. together with partially skull, foot, hips and backbones and is estimated to be 66.5 million years old. However, researchers are not sure whether it is actually a T. rex or another species of smaller carnivorous dinosaurs. Some even suggest that all previously found fossils in Montana, which were believed to belong to another species, are in fact the same and represent different growth stages of Tyrannosaurus rex. Further analysis is underway to eliminate this uncertainty.
"Teeth suggest that it is a Tyrannosaurus rex, but there is more to do," said David Burnham, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Kansas. "Since a young T. rex is so rare, there are few that have been found over the years that make it difficult to see what changes are due to growth or whether the differences in bones reflect different species KU has an older T. rex for comparison and another young T. rex on loan to decipher the problem. "
One possibility is that the specimen is a Nanotyrannus dinosaur whose identity itself is controversial is discussed. Nanotyrannus is either a separate carnivorous dinosaur species or a relative of the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex. Such a specimen was reported to have been previously discovered in the Hell Creek Formation.
"The problem here is the age," said Burnham. "Ontogeny, that's the process of growth ̵
While researchers are currently exploring the newly discovered fossil, they also plan to conduct Hell Creek Formation and field work in search of more bone. With more fossils and research, they hope to put an end to this controversy and give the fossil the rightful place in the family strain of theropod dinosaurs.
"We will return this summer – we" I go straight to this place. We think and hope that there is more, "said Burnham," with the copies here at the KU, we will be able to address the issue and make a declarative statement about Nanotyrannus. "