Thanatotheristes degrootorum, which dates back about 80 million years, is thought to be the oldest member of the T-rex family discovered in North America so far

Eight-metre-long dinosaur was the only known large apex predator of its time in Canada

Scientists said on Monday they had discovered a new species of dinosaur closely related to Tyrannosaurus rex that strode the plain of North America some 80 million years ago.

– Greek for “Reaper of Death” – is thought to be the oldest member of the T-Rex family yet discovered in northern North America, and would have grown to around eight metres (26 feet) in length.

“We chose a name that embodies what this tyrannosaur was as the only known large apex predator of its time in Canada, the reaper of death,” Darla Zelenitsky, assistant professor of Dinosaur Palaeobiology at Canada’s University of Calgary.

“The nickname has come to be Thanatos,” she said.

Whereas T-Rex – the most famous of all dinosaur species, immortalised in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 epic

– stalked its prey around 66 million years ago, Thanatos dates back at least 79 million years, the team said.

The specimen was discovered by Jared Voris, a PhD student at Calgary, and is the first new tyrannosaur species found for 50 years in Canada.

“There are very few species of tyrannosaurids, relatively speaking,” said Zelenitsky, co-author of the study that appeared in the journal

.

“Because of the nature of the food chain these large apex predators were rare compared to herbivorous or plant-eating dinosaurs.”

The study found that Thanatos had a long, deep snout, similar to more primitive tyrannosaurs that lived in the southern United States.

The researchers suggested that the difference in tyrannosaur skull shapes between regions could have been down to differences in diet, and dependant on the prey available at the time.

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Portland police declare unlawful assembly during protest

The Portland Police Bureau declared an unlawful assembly Saturday night when people gathered outside a police precinct in Oregon’s largest city and threw bottles toward officers, police said. Until that point, federal, state and local law enforcement had been seemingly…

ByteDance investors look to use stakes to finance bid for TikTok

Some ByteDance investors, including investment firm General Atlantic, are vying to own large stakes in the TikTok assets for sale This comes as ByteDance looks to divest TikTok’s North America, Australia and New Zealand operations after an executive order from…

Twitter flags ‘misleading’ Trump tweet about ballot boxes

Twitter has flagged another tweet by Donald Trump for spreading “misleading health claims” after the president implied ballot boxes could spread the coronavirus. Mr Trump claimed in a post shared on both Facebook and Twitter early Sunday morning that ballot…

Coronavirus: Asian stock markets struggle despite ECB pandemic plan

Asian stock markets failed to maintain their early gains on Thursday, despite the European Central Bank (ECB) announcing the launch of a €750 billion ($820 billion) emergency bond purchase scheme. After a promising start, stocks fell in Hong Kong, mainland China, Japan,…