. In fact, Tyrannosaurus was smaller at first than 10 feet and was lighter than modern horses. They became fearsome, huge creatures not long 100 years after their first appearance. T. rex was a small and unimposing creature when he first walked on Earth in the Jurassic. They had rapidly evolved into the top of the food chain by the end of Cretaceous. Researchers from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and their colleagues from Russia, Scotland and Russia explained, in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, how the transition from junior predator to megapredator happened. Artist’s rendering of Timurlengia, the new Tyrannosaurus – Timurlengia Euotica. It was in an environment that dates back to 90 millions years. In the background, you can see two flying reptiles (Azhdarcho langicollis). (Image: smithsonianscience.si.edu. Credit to Todd Marshall. A new species helps explain the evolution of T. rex Hans Sues (Chair of the Department of Paleobiology at Museum), and his colleagues claim that there was an unknown species, Timurlengia. It lived around 90 millions years ago. The fossil record for T. rex from the Cretaceous’ early Cretaceous is missing twenty million years. This new species fills that gap. T. euotica, a nimble hunter who used slender blade-sharp teeth to slicing meat, was a skilled and agile pursuit hunter. The ancestor of this new species wasn’t T. rex. Co-author Dr. Sues says this new fossil helps explain how tyrannosaurs evolved so quickly towards the end of their 70-million-year existence on Earth. Dr. Sues stated that this fossil proves that the advanced heads of tyrannosaurs were developed first. Timurlengia has a skull that is smaller than T. rex’s, but it shows an advanced brain. (Image: smithsonianscience.si.edu. Copyright: Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. Tyrannosaurs developed while other species disappeared. While the Tyrannosaurs developed their intelligence and keen senses, large predatory-dinosaurs died off, allowing them to evolve – thereby enabling them to rise in the ranks. Alexander Averianov, a Russian Academy of Sciences colleague, used fossils that they collected to study the tyrannosaurs. They had collected specimens on several trips to Uzbekistan’s Kyzylkum Desert over a period of 10-years. A number of the dinosaurs that were common during the Cretaceous period have roots in Central Asia. Some of these species went on to thrive across North America. T. euotica a novel species T. euotica’s fossils were examined by Sues, along with a group of paleontologists headed by Stephen Brusatte at the University of Edinburgh. It was identified as a brand new species. They were able reconstruct Timurlengia’s brain using CT scans. Hans Sues holds a cast from a Tyrannosaurus rex teeth to compare it with an actual Timurlengia euotica tooth. (Image: smithsonianscience.si.edu. Credit to James DiLoreto. Dr. Sues stated that Timurlengia answered the question about how late tyrannosaurs gained the advantage of larger size and sharper senses. The new fossil has a complicated inner ear, nerves and fits with the information we have about T. Rex. “There is so much more to learn about dinosaur history. T. Euotica, which was much smaller than T. Rex at the beginning of Earth’s existence, was a rare find. The journal’s Abstract stated that Tyrannosauroids grew rapidly in recent Cretaceous. Their success as top predators may have been due to their intelligence and sharp senses. Citation: Stephen L. Brusatte and Amy Muir. Alexander Averianov. Hans-Dieter Sus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 14 March, 2016. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1600140113. Video – T. euotica explains T. Rex evolution
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