New species of Tyrannosaur are discovered and called as a Reaper of Death
New species of Tyrannosaur called Reaper of Death is discovered. So, to the untrained eye, many tyrannosaurs look like twins. But Thanatotheristes has many distinctive features setting it apart from the rest.
Javed Voris is the one who discovered the species. However, he pored over bones in museum collections. So that scientists can study how tyrannosaurs matured from hatchlings to terror. On a visit to the Alberta’s Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, he also noticed a cabinet with fossils he couldn’t quite place.
After two years of extensive research, Voris and his colleagues identified the first new Canadian tyrannosaurid to be found in 50 years. The dinosaur named Thanatotheristes is 26 feet in length.
The unearthed skull fragments—including upper and lower jawbones, teeth, and a partial cheekbone—sketch out the early pages of how tyrannosaurids, the tyrannosaur subgroup that includes T. Rex, rose to power and became top predators.
“I tried to be really meticulous with identifying features that made it unique,” says Voris. “It’s interesting to have the opportunity to name a new species—and I’m hoping it isn’t all downhill from here.”
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The dinosaur lived in the Late Cretaceous Period. It has become the oldest known tyrannosaur from North America.
Researches say the new discovery is insightful to the evolution of the tyrannosaur.
Fragments of Thanatos’s fossilised skull were discovered by John De Groot, a farmer and palaeontology enthusiast.
He stumbled across the fossils in 2010 while hiking near Hays, a hamlet in southern Alberta.