Scientists Discover New T-Rex Related Dinosaur Species

Per a new release, Canadian scientists recently discovered a new dinosaur species related to the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex, which supposedly walked the plains of North America in search for prey some 80 million years ago.

Named the Thanatotheristes degrootorum

(which is Greek for “reaper of death”), the dinosaur is thought to be the oldest member of the T-rex family that has been discovered so far, and supposedly grew to around 8m or 26ft 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. The nickname has come to be Thanatos,” Darla Zelenitsky, assistant professor of dinosaur palaeobiology at Canada’s University of Calgary, said.

And while the ever-famous T-rex is known to have struck fear in the hearts of smaller dinosaurs some 66 million years ago, the team said that Thanatos did it much earlier, living around 79 million years ago.

The specimen, which is the first Tyrannosaur species found in Canada in the last 50 years, was reportedly discovered by Jared Voris, a PhD student at Calgary .

“There are very few species of tyrannosaurids, relatively speaking. Because of the nature of the food chain these large apex predators were rare compared to herbivorous or plant-eating dinosaurs,” Zelenitsky, co-author of the study that appeared in the journal Cretaceous Research, said.

According to him and the team, Thanatos reportedly had a long and deep snout that is similar to the more primitive T-rex species that have been previously discovered in the Southern U.S. Furthermore, the researchers also noted that Thanatos had a skull that is shaped differently than the usual T-rex species, which suggests that it may have had a different diet that was largely dependent on the prey it ate at the time.

Teenage T-Rex

The discovery of Thanatos is not the only T-rex news we have this year so far. Just earlier in January, a smaller T-rex species that for the longest time is believed to be a T-rex cousin is now believed as simply juvenile T-rexes, or teenagers. However, the research is still up for debate, with some experts disagreeing with the claim.

Dinosaur Skeleton A Camptosaurus (L) and an Allosaurus skeletons are displayed on November 13, 2018 at the Artcurial auction house in Paris. Volcanoes and an asteroid are most likely the reasons for dinosaur extinction. STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images