For 160 million years, dinosaurs ruled our planet. These prehistoric reptiles varied in size, some as small as a chicken to giants as big as an airplane. Some were plant-eaters while others were carnivores. The mighty Tyrannosaurus rex, popularly known as T-rex, may have been one of the largest terrestrial predators to have ever lived on Earth.
After years of research, a team of paleontologists (i.e. scientists who study fossils) from the University of Alberta have some exciting news. A 13-meter-long T-rex found in the Saskatchewan province of Canada has been declared as the heaviest of its kind, weighing about 9.8 tons or about 8,870 kg. Prior to this discovery, another T-rex specimen named Sue, was regarded as the heaviest, weighing around 8460 kg. That is far heavier than the largest African elephant too!
Although Scotty was discovered in 1991, it took more than 10 years to unearth the massive skeleton. It took longer to fully excavate the bones, and then separate them from stone and study them.
Scotty’s skeleton is about 65 percent complete (whereas Sue is the most complete at 90 percent). This means that two-thirds of Scotty’s original bones were found, including the skull and hips along with some ribs, leg bones, and tail bones. After analyzing the bones, scientists think that Scotty may also be the oldest T-rex, living up to more than three decades. Scientists also found many spots with scarred bones suggesting injuries such as an infected jaw, some broken ribs, and a broken tailbone, possibly from the bite of another T-rex.
If you’re visiting Canada this summer, you can actually check out Scotty for real. An exhibit featuring the dinosaur’s bones is set to open in May at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Canada.
Written by: Chandni Shah. Chandni is a picture book collector, an educator and founder of Simplifly, a learning venture for children.