Beijing, China, September 18 -- Archeologists have discovered a miniature dinosaur that Tyrannosaurus Rex -- dubbed as the most fearsome predator over the years by the scientists -- must have evolved out of in Northern China.
The story was made public on Thursday by China in a press conference where they also announced that they have started re-writing evolutionary theory.
This new discovery is based on a single fossil, smuggled out of china and purchased at an auction by the private collector Mr. Kriegstein. He later donated the fossil for the benefit of research.
Quite fittingly, the newfound species belonging to T. Rex family has been named Raptorex Kriegstein.
Archeology fraternity excited by the find
There’s a lot of excitement within the archeology community world over because of this ground breaking discovery.
As it turns out, Tyrannosaurus Rex’s predecessor was just about 8-9 foot max in its height. No wonder it was described by Dr. Paul Sereno, a paleontologist at the University of Chicago, as “punk sized” in his article for the online edition of the research journal Science.
Dr. Sereno also said that the fossil is that of a 5- or 6-year-old young adult, near the end of its growth process.
Stephen L. Brusatte, a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History, who co-authored a paper on this find in the journal Science Express, said, “The most interesting and important thing about this new fossil is that it is completely unexpected. As we learn more and more about dinosaurs and the evolution of life over time, it’s harder and harder to find fossils like this that throw us for a curve.”
Interesting facts about Raptorex Kriegstein
About 125 million years ago, this creature roamed the land which comes under the northern eastern part of China today.
Its weight was around 1/100th that of its descendant, T. Rex.
Except for its height, Raptorex holds a striking similarity with giant T. Rex, including tiny arms, a large head, jaw and legs, long shin bones with long and compressed feet which helped it during hunting.
A Paleontogist at the University of Maryland, Thomas R. Holtz Jr., who was not involved in the work, cautioned about the authenticity of the findings though, unless these findings are confirmed by independent research.