Kenosha, WI

New Evidence Shows T. Rex May Have Been 70% Bigger Than What Fossils Suggest

Prateek Dasgupta
Scotty, the largest known T.Rex specimenPhoto byWikimedia Commons

A new study suggests scientists may have underestimated the size of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. To date, the largest T. Rex, named Scotty, weighed 19,555 pounds (8870 kg), the size of almost seven Volkswagen Beetles.

But researchers from the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa believe the T. Rex could have been 70% bigger. The largest T. Rex may have weighed up to 33,000 pounds, the size of two adult African males (13,000 lbs each) and one female elephant (6,600 lbs).

To give you an idea about how big the T. Rex was, one could put an adult African female elephant on a school bus (average weight 24,000 lbs) and would weigh less than the largest T. Rex. That means the size of the T. Rex was almost double than previously imagined.

The authors of the study concluded about the dinosaur’s size based on an estimate that once upon a time 2.5 Billion T. Rex roamed the earth. But we have found so far only 32 fossils. As the sample size is low, it is difficult to determine the size of the T. Rex based on the fossils alone.

Scientists David Hone and Jordan Mallon came up with a model which looked at average life spans, population numbers, and differences between male and female species of the dinosaur. They used the data to model T. Rex’s growth curve throughout its lifetime.

According to the data, the T. Rex could have weighed up to 33,000 lbs. The scientists aren’t jumping to conclusions. They believe fossils matching the size predicted by the model have to be discovered. Till then, their results are speculative.

"This is simply a thought experiment with some numbers behind it. It's something that's fun to think about- Jordan Mallon, Paleontologist, Canada Museum of Nature.

Thomas Carr, a paleontologist from Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin, believes the lack of sample size of T. Rex fossils limits our understanding of the creature’s true size. Carr believes the weight proposed by Mallon and Hone is statistically possible.

Right now, we are nowhere near the sample size needed, especially when compared to other species of animals. It's truly a stupendous animal. To imagine a T. rex of that magnitude is extraordinary, and I think an animal of that size is within reach statistically. Thomas Carr, Paleontologist, Carthage College.

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As a writer, lost civilizations and human progress fascinate me. My goal on News Break is to spark people's interest in the past, archaeology, natural history, and the history of scientific inquiry.


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