Back in 1991, paleontologists from Canada's University of Alberta discovered the fossilized remains of a Tyrannosaurus rex in the province of Saskatchewan. Nicknamed "Scotty" in honor of a celebratory bottle of Scotch that was enjoyed when its skeleton was found, it has now been declared the world's largest T rex.
Although the 66 million year-old bones were unearthed 28 years ago, they were encrusted in hard sandstone. That material has been gradually removed in the years since, with the skeleton only recently being assembled and measured.
At a length of 13 meters (42.7 ft) and with an estimated body weight of 8,800 kg (19,401 lb), Scotty was certainly a big reptile – bigger than any other known T rex specimen. It has a few additional claims to fame, too.
For one, it's the largest dinosaur skeleton of any type ever found in Canada, plus it's the longest-lived T rex on record. Based on growth patterns found within its bones, Scotty is estimated to have lived 30 years. That's a long time, for a Tyrannosaurus. Its life was evidently a hard one, though, as it suffered from broken ribs, a jaw infection, and possibly even a bite from a fellow T rex on its tail.
"There is considerable size variability among Tyrannosaurus," says postdoctoral researcher Scott Persons, lead author of a paper on the research. "Some individuals were lankier than others and some were more robust. Scotty exemplifies the robust [...] As of right now, this particular Tyrannosaurus is the largest terrestrial predator known to science."
The paper was published this week in The Anatomical Record. Scotty's skeleton will go on display in the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, starting in May.
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