Three young children discover remains of an 'extremely rare' T-Rex while walking

Three young children discover remains of an 'extremely rare' T-Rex while walking

Un documentaire sur cette découverte sortira dans une centaine de salles autour du monde le 21 juin. Illustration Unsplash – Sean Foster

Trois jeunes Américains passionnés de fossiles ont de quoi épater leurs camarades de classe après avoir découvert les restes d’un Tyrannosaurus rex juvénile dans le Dakota du Nord apprend-on ce 4 juin 2024.

Scientists and filmmakers announced to the press on Tuesday, June 4, the extremely rare discovery made by the three boys in July 2022 in the Hell Creek Formation, a region known to dinosaur hunters in the northern United States.

A "important discovery"

Two brothers, aged 10 and 7, and their 9-year-old cousin were looking for fossils when they came across a large fossilized bone.

They took a photo and sent it to a family friend who happened to be a curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Dr. Tyler Lyson.

At first, the children thought they were looking at a relatively more common duck-billed dinosaur. But when they excavated the site, Dr. Lyson and his team of specialists and volunteers, including the discoverers of the bone in question, realized that it was the remains of an adolescent tyrannosaur that died about 67 million years ago.

Juvenile T-Rex specimens are extremely rare“, Dr. Lyson said in a press release. “This discovery is important for researchers because the specimen could provide answers about the growth of the king of dinosaurs“.

7.6 meters long and 3 meters high

The tibia found measures 82 cm long while that of an adult reaches on average 112 cm, which suggests that the T-Rex was between 13 and 15 years old when it died. It probably weighed 1.6 tons, was 7.6 m long and 3 m high.

It is remarkable to consider how the T-Rex grew from the size of a kitten to the 12-meter, 3.6-ton adult predator that we know” said Thomas Holtz, a paleontologist at the University of Maryland and a recognized authority on T-Rex, in the statement.

A documentary about the discovery produced by Giant Screen Films will be released in about 100 theaters around the world on June 21.

It's the kind of story documentary filmmakers dream of making” said co-director David Clark.

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