The results suggest that, in theory, tyrannosaurs may have weighed between 15,000 and 24,000 kilograms
Tyrannosaurus rex may have been much larger than scientists previously thought. Paleontologists from the Canadian Museum of Natural History in Ottawa have calculated the maximum weight of ancient predators using computer modeling, Live Science reported.
Very few remains of tyrannosaurs have been found so far – only 32 skeletons of adult specimens, while their total population may have been as high as 2.5 billion.
The largest known tyrannosaurus is “Scotty”. Analysis of its skeleton shows that while alive it weighed 8,800 kilograms and was 13 meters long.
The authors of the present study suggest that “Scotty” was not the most imposing of his relatives. Other specimens may have been much larger, but their remains have not yet been found.
Paleontologists collected data on the population size and average lifespan of tyrannosaurs and used them to create computer models. They show the typical growth curve of a predatory dinosaur throughout its life. One model suggests that males were larger than females (a phenomenon known as sexual dimorphism), and the other that predators of both sexes were the same size.
The results suggest that, in theory, tyrannosaurs may have weighed between 15,000 and 24,000 kilograms. According to scientists, it is possible that the largest predator weighed 70 percent more than previously thought.
The researchers note that their findings have not yet been proven. The new study shows how little is known about dinosaurs, based on an extremely small sample of known fossils.
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