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Dinosaur Facts Discovered Since You Were in School
Excavating Tyrannosaurus rex fossil and its teeth. Photo Credit: Petr Bonek/Shutterstock

9. A New Discovery For The T. Rex Species Could Lead to New Information

Paleontologists in Canada made a discovery in 2010 that led to a new type of Tyrannosaur called ‘The Reaper of Death.’ This new species was the first discovered in fifty years in Canada. It predates the T. Rex by at least twelve million years. Its technical name is Thanatotheristes degrootorum, which translates from Greek to mean Reaper of Death. A Ph.D. student by the name of Jared Voris find this fossil. He first saw fossils in the Royal Tyrrell Museum that didn’t look like a typical T. Rex skull. The skull had vertical ridges along the jawline that didn’t match any known species.

In 2010, when exploring the area surrounding the Bow River, Jared Voris found skull fragments. His advisor, Darla Zelenitsky, believes this Tyrannosaur is a new species different from the T. Rexes we all know from television and history books. This find is fantastic for Canada as a new species hasn’t been discovered in fifty years. It’s believed that The Reaper of Death roamed the Earth 79 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period. Paleontologists believe this behemoth was at least 8 feet tall, weighing at least two tons. It also had 2.7- inch-long teeth used for tearing into the flesh of other dinosaurs, birds, and fish.

Dinosaur Facts Discovered Since You Were in School
Frill-necked lizard also known as the frilled lizard. Photo Credit: Hadrani Hasan/Shutterstock

8. Are Dinosaurs Cold-Blooded Like Reptiles?

We still don’t know so much about dinosaurs, so is it possible they could have been warm-blooded? Scientists have speculated for years whether feathers play a role in the type of blood dinosaurs had. In fact, we now understand that most, if not all, dinosaurs had some kind of feathers. Paleontologists believe these dinos didn’t use their feathers to fly but for insulation against cooler temperatures. A 2020 study confirmed that three types of dinosaurs – the Ornithischia, Sauropodomorpha, and Theropoda – were warm-blooded. So, is it possible all dinosaurs were warm-blooded like these three? Scientists believe there are many reasons why they could have been. Keep reading to find out what those reasons are!

Some paleontologists believe dinosaurs had speedy metabolisms that would need warm blood to survive. Other aspects of their reasoning include some dinosaurs’ large sizes. Their size leads researchers to believe they could have been warm-blooded. While the topic is still up for debate, one thing is for sure – much research is needed to prove this theory and help us better understand every species of dinosaurs. If you found this interesting, keep reading to learn more facts scientists have discovered since you graduated from school.

Dinosaur Facts Discovered Since You Were in School
Tyrannosaurus Rex charging towards an Alamosaurus in a prehistoric forest. Photo Credit: Herschel Hoffmeyer/Shutterstock

7. Did You Know The Tyrannosaurus Rex Has Relatives?

That’s right! A species of dinosaur was discovered around 20 years ago that resembles the T. Rex. There’s one catch, however. The new species found by paleontologists is much smaller than the T. Rex we all recognize today. Its name is Suskityrannus hazelae, and it lived over 92 million years ago. This tiny dinosaur was three feet tall and had similar features to a T.Rex. Discovered in New Mexico by paleontologists, Suskityrannus hazelae may help to build the Tyrannosaurus family tree. This new information will help scientists and researchers gain a better understanding of prehistoric creatures. While the fossils found weren’t enough to gain a clear understanding, paleontologists are hopeful that more discoveries are to come.

Sterling Nesbitt, one of the paleontologists to help discover the new dinosaur, works for Virginia Tech in the Paleontology department. He believes the fossils found in New Mexico will help scientists build the family tree and determine where Suskityrannus hazelae fits into the equation. Since the dinosaur was so small, it’s challenging to find one fully intact, leading to more difficulty understanding the creature. It’s believed Suskityrannus hazelae was carnivorous as one of the fossils was found with a partially digested lizard skull inside it. Tyrannosaurs from other parts of the world have helped to discover where Suskityrannus hazelae lands on the Tyrannosaur family tree.

Dinosaur Facts Discovered Since You Were in School
3D illustration of Archosaur Arizonasaurus. Photo Credit: Michael Rosskothen/Shutterstock

6. What Do You Know About The Archosaur?

It’s interesting to think of the many different places dinosaurs lived during their time on Earth. Paleontologists have found fossils, right? That includes on the frigid continent of Antarctica. The Archosaur reigned over Antarctica more than 250 million years ago. Paleontologists discovered a fossil dating back 250 million years on the icy continent that helped them gain insight into the Archosaur. This dinosaur was similar to an iguana and was at least four to five feet long. Its technical name – Antarctanax shackletoni – means Antarctica King. The Antarctanax shackletoni lived during the Triassic period, some 251 million years ago.

The Antarctanax shackletoni lived when Antarctica was thriving with abundant plant life, unlike the freezing, barren land we know today. Researchers learned quite a bit from the fossils found in Antarctica. They found that the lizard lived on the ground because the bones in its feet did not show signs of burrowing or climbing. Scientists believe Antarctica had vast forests, warm temperatures, and abundant animals when Antarctanax shackletoni was alive. It’s incredible to think of such a barren place filled with forests, rivers, and even wildlife. It’s not something you would expect, that’s for sure!

Dinosaur Facts Discovered Since You Were in School
Many Ammonite Fossils from the Jurassic. Photo Credit: liga_sveta/Shutterstock

5. Changes Are Coming Soon

With advancements in science and paleontologists finding new fossils every year, our understanding of the dinosaur race may change drastically. We learn something new every day about these majestic creatures, and discoveries will change how we think about them. It’s difficult to imagine what kind of changes are coming in the future, but we’re sure it will be thrilling. Whether it’s finding a new species or learning more about species we already know, reading this information will change how we think about dinosaurs. Keep reading to find out how advancements in science will help us change our views.

Paleontologist Johnathon Tennant believes there is a gap in the fossil record that needs to be filled in. This gap will help us to learn more about every type of dinosaur. Paleontologists believe the golden age of discovery will lead to exquisite findings on the dinosaur fossil front. They find more and more fossils every year that help fill in the fossil record gaps. Once the fossil record is complete, we’ll have a better understanding of dinosaurs. That includes insight on how dinos lived and died. There are thousands of fossils in the world waiting to be discovered, and once they are found, we may even see more new species!

Dinosaur Facts Discovered Since You Were in School
Realistic model of hungry big Tyrannosaurus Rex. Photo Credit: Artush/Shutterstock

4. These Behemoths Hunted In A Strange Way

The Tyrannosaurus Rex is one of the most well-known dinosaurs. You can find this giant on the big screen, in the toy aisle, and for various decorations and party themes. It’s a dinosaur we all know well, or so we thought. Did you know these monsters actually hunted in packs? Initially, these massive dinosaurs were lone hunters, but new evidence has emerged that may change the way we think. Fossils found in Utah at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument tell us a different story. These fossils show that dinosaurs hunted in packs rather than alone. The fossils also indicate something about the way they cared for their young!

Scientists now believe that the Tyrannosaurus Rex was actually a social creature. In fact, this large dino probably even enjoyed the company of others, especially while hunting. We’re sure you can imagine how much easier it would be to take down prey when there’s a group of these behemoths instead of a lone hunter. Scientists came up with this shocking discovery by studying the fossils of four T. Rexes that were found near each other. Chemical analysis of the soil and fossils show they died around the same time, leading scientists and paleontologists to believe they were hunting together. Keep reading for more interesting dinosaur facts!

Dinosaur Facts Discovered Since You Were in School
Archeologists discover fossil remains of dinosaur skeletons. Photo Credit: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

3. Let’s Talk About Growth Spurts

Like humans during their teenage years, dinosaurs went through growth spurts that helped them grow into the enormous dinosaurs we know today. The Tyrannosaurus Rex is no exception. A study published in Science Advances talks about T. Rexes going through growth spurts and growing into their full size during their teenage years. Scientists previously thought that the smaller T. Rexes were different dinosaurs entirely. Advancements in science have changed the way we look at these dinosaurs. Studies on two skeletons prove the growth spurt theory due to the size of the bones and their body structures. Keep reading to learn more about these growth spurts.

A paleontologist by the name of Steve Brusatte believes most scientists are unfamiliar with the growth spurt theory as it’s a relatively new idea. It’s amazing to think these dinosaurs went from tiny hatchlings to 19,000-pound behemoths. A growth spurt had to happen somewhere during their lives to make that happen, right? It was discovered that their teenage years were a likely age for the growth spurts to occur due to evidence from the bones studied. Originally thought to be Pygmy dinosaurs, these teenage T. Rexes have taught scientists and paleontologists much about their younger years. Keep reading for more interesting facts you never knew!

Dinosaur Facts Discovered Since You Were in School
Archaeopteryx birds dinosaurs flying. Photo Credit: Elenarts/Shutterstock

2. Scientists Discovered New Information About Connections Between Birds And Dinosaurs

A paleontologist named Takuya Imai made an important discovery in 2013 that changed the way we look at the evolution between dinosaurs and modern-day birds. They discovered an Early Cretaceous period bird in Japan, which was the first one to be similar to modern-day birds. They found the bird first outside of China and named it Fukuipteryx prima. This bird had an intact skeleton that was perfect for study. Nature magazine reported it in 2019. Since then, it has become an essential topic of discussion between paleontologists. It helps scientists to understand better how birds evolved.

They believed the bird skeleton was one year old when it passed away, leading scientists to understand better the bird and its connection to the period in which it lived. Finding this intact skeleton provides much-needed information about these primitive birds and their connection to modern-day birds. As an example, Fukuipteryx prima is similar to modern-day birds in that their tailbones are the same. It’s interesting to see the connections between birds that lived millions of years ago to the birds we see today. You never know when someone will find a new skeleton, giving scientists more information and a better understanding of how our world works.

Dinosaur Facts Discovered Since You Were in School
Jurassic Park ride entrance. Photo Credit: Alex Cimbal/Shutterstock

1. A Scene From Jurassic Park Couldn’t Have Happened

We’re sure you all remember the scene from Jurassic Park where a Tyrannosaurus Rex outruns a Jeep. Well, we hate to be the bearers of bad news, but this couldn’t have happened. Scientists believed that the T. Rex couldn’t have run that fast due to the size of its legs. Paleontologists initially thought the T. Rex could have run upwards of 33 miles per hour, but that estimation has since been revoked. A study done in 2017 with computer models shows these vast dinosaurs couldn’t have run any faster than 12 miles per hour. That’s a bid difference from chasing down a Jeep in the movies!

It’s incredible to think of the advancements in science that bring us this new information. When we were in school, we learned all about dinosaurs. However, with new research over the years, the authors need to update their textbooks. That way, everyone can learn about the much-needed information and new findings that change the way we think of these prehistoric creatures. The T. Rex is one of the most well-known dinosaurs due to its size and appearance. Gathering new information will help scientists give us a clearer picture of how these dinosaurs lived. Hopefully, one day, we’ll have a better understanding of the way they lived, hunted, parented, and more.