T. Rex has a new relative

T. Rex has a new relative

U.S. Researchers discovered the new dino species in the grand staircase-escalante national monument in the state of utah and present it in the current issue of the journal "PLOS ONE.

In 2009, researchers led by mark loewen of the natural history museum of utah excavated bones from the dinosaur’s skull, hooves, legs and tail, along with numerous other fossils of turtles, crustaceans and some mollusks. Lythronax is the oldest representative of the tyrannosauridae family to have been discovered so far, write the researchers. T. Rex for example lived about ten to twelve million years later.

Like many of his relatives, lythronax had very short arms. Particular are its short and rather narrow snout as well as the broad hind spine. The eyes of lythronax were directed forward. This gave him an overlapping field of vision, which was very helpful for a robber, as loewen explains. Until now, experts had assumed that this head shape had developed only ten million years later.

By comparing lythronax to 54 other species of carnivorous dinosaurs, researchers found that lythronax was most closely related to T. Rex and is related to tarbosaurus bataar. They assume that the tyrannosauridae had already split into different species 80 million years ago. At that time, the north american continent was divided from north to south by a sea, and parts of the resulting western landmass of laramidia were probably underwater for a long time. Individual regions were thus isolated from each other and allowed an independent evolution of the tyrannosauridae.

A consequence of this was that in southern laramidia lived different species than in the north of the landmass – and within the same dinosaur groups. Lythronax is also more closely related to the tyrannosauridae on the southern hemisphere than to those on the northern hemisphere.

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