March 1, 2024

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An older T. rex cousin has been discovered in New Mexico

An older T. rex cousin has been discovered in New Mexico

New Mexico is now home to a new species of dinosaur. Not only that, but this discovery changes the timeline in which dinosaurs roamed North America.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico is home to a new species of dinosaur. Not only that, but this discovery changes the timeline in which dinosaurs roamed North America.

“This is a discovery that has been decades in the making,” said Dr. Anthony Fiorello, executive director of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

The fossil found in southwestern New Mexico is part of the skull of a new species Tyrannosaurus rex.

“This confirmed that this is a new species and I was excited to invite other researchers and continue this project on a larger scale,” said Sebastian Dollmann, lead author of the project.

Many scientists have studied it over decades and revealed their findings Thursday morning.

“This fossil was originally found by members of the public, it was not found by paleontologists like myself and these were people who lived in Las Cruces and were boating in Elephant Butte Reservoir,” said Dr. Spencer Lokos, co-author. From the project. “That was in 1983. They landed on the eastern shore of the lake and a large portion of this jaw was here lying on the ground.”

It's called the type Tyrannosaurus macrinsis It predates the creation of any other T. rex specimen in the world by about five million years Tyrannosaurus macrinsis An older cousin to the T. rex we all know.

“But it turned out that in the years that followed — and not just us — but we found layers of volcanic ash in the rocks that contained this fossil, and we were able to get numerical ages and with those numerical ages now, we can be pretty sure that The age of the fossil ranges from 72 to 73 million years.

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An artist's rendering shows what the dinosaur might have looked like, measuring 40 feet high and 12 feet long. Scientists say the differences are small, like subtle differences in the jaw bones, but they're enough to make New Mexico home to an important dinosaur discovery.

“Science is a process. With every new discovery, it forces us to go back and test and challenge what we thought we knew,” Fiorello said.

The public can view the fossil on display at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.