Tyrannosaurus Rex Bigger Than Originally Thought, Probably Scarier

Scientists from Britain and the US have been studying the Tyrannosaurus rex, and made some interesting discoveries about the beast with which all five-year-old boys are obsessed.

Using super-cool computer modeling and three-dimensional laser scans, the team made some new observations and discoveries about the dinosaurs. One of the things the researchers did involved “weighing” specimens, including the Chicago Field Museum’s “Sue.” “Sue” is the largest and most complete T-rex skeleton on display.

In a press release, Peter Makovicky, PhD, curator of dinosaurs at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago commented on what was learned about the specimen during study:

“Sue’s vertebrae were compressed by 65 million years of fossilization, which forced a more barrel-chested reconstructio… Nine tons is the minimum estimate we arrived at using a very skinny body form, so even if we made the chest smaller, adding a more realistic amount of flesh would make up for the weight.”

Co-author of the study Dr. Vivian Allen of the Royal Veterinary College spoke of specimen diversity as a barometer of realistic T-rex weight:

“These models range from the severely undernourished through the overly obese, but they are purposely chosen extremes that bound biologically realistic values.”

Sue’s newly estimated body weight was a surprising 30% more than was previously believed, and it’s thought that the massive creature would have weighed in at a scary nine tons. One of the discoveries was that smaller specimens had originally been overestimated size-wise, indicating little T-rexes likely hit a growth spurt between the ages of 10 and 15.

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