Baby T-Rex could be the Cutest Floor Monster

Baby T-Rex could be the Cutest Floor Monster

Baby T-Rex could be the Cutest Floor Monster
Image Credits: CBC News

Young T-Rex was much fluffier and cute than the general perception of the creature.

You have probably heard about the Tyrannosaurus Rex (T-Rex), a fearsome predator with immensely strong jaws (able to crush 7800 pounds) and rather tiny arms. Most of the data we have on this dinosaur is based on pure speculation because unfortunately (or fortunately in some cases), T-Rex no longer exists on our planet. Despite the terrifying image of this massive creature, a recent research by the paleontologists from the Museum of Natural History (MNH) suggests that baby T-Rex were extremely cute and fluffy. Mark Norell of the Museum of Natural History said:

“Everyone’s preconceived ideas of what T-Rex acted like and looked like are going to be heavily modified. But I think the feathers on the adult would still be considered contentious.”

New Findings about T-Rex

The researching team discovered that this ferocious creature was roughly about the size of a turkey, at the time of its birth. They also mentioned that adult T-Rex wasn’t as scaly as we know it. It had scales but interestingly, it also had feathers on its head, neck, and tail. The ‘Lizard King’ is also believed to have brighter colors just like many reptiles of today’s world. Further research shows that while a juvenile T-Rex could run, adults were too heavy to do that as their skeletons would have buckled under the weight of their own body.

Latest Exhibit of T-Rex

The exhibit at the MNH aims to be highly interactive. There are various life-size models of the creature at different stages of its life to provide a better perspective on the life of a T-Rex. Moreover, the exhibit gives lesser known members of the Tyrannosaurus family some time under the spotlight. For instance, many members of the T-Rex family were small yet fierce dinosaurs. The exhibit also features a ‘Roar-creator’ that combines sounds of various animals to simulate the roar of an actual T-Rex. There is also a virtual reality room in which visitors can piece together a complete skeleton in real-time. According to the exhibit, T-Rexes also had a rapid rate of growth. By the age of 4, the creature would already be 4 meters tall and by the age 20, it attained its full height of a towering 13 meters. Most of the T-Rexes are believed to have a maximum age of 30 years.

What we don’t know yet?

The exact appearance of the dinosaurs is still a mystery as there are numerous unanswered questions at our hands. Did they had scales? Did they had feathers? What color was it? Paleontologists have long debated these queries and a lot of studies in the past have pointed to the high probability of feathers on dinosaurs. The fact that Yutyrannus Huali, a relative of T-Rex, had filamentous feathers strengthens the idea that dinosaurs had feathers. Therefore, it’s highly likely that T-Rex itself had feathers on its body. Matthew Carrano, the Curator of dinosaurs at National Museum of Natural History, talked about that in the following words:

“We have some opportunity to know if they had feathers because we can find impressions. But it’s highly unlikely that we will ever know its color or the texture of its skin.”

Skin Color of T-Rex

Some researchers have suggested deciding the color of dinosaurs based on the amount of melanin in the remains. Melanin is the pigment responsible for the dark color in the skin. However, others have rejected the proposal saying that the melanin deposits may be present because of colonies of bacteria residing on the remains. Unfortunately, there are no preserved samples of dinosaur skins to help unravel this mystery.

The consensus is that T-Rex likely had a dark-colored skin due to its predatory nature and the skin may have helped it hide in the environment. Although evidence of skin exists for a vast number of reptiles, they are absolutely non-existent for T-Rex. The observation that the skin of a T-Rex degrades much faster than other reptiles hints at feathers being part of the creature’s body. Mary Schweitzer, a Molecular Paleontologist at the North Carolina State University, referred to that by saying,“It could be something that has to do with feathers in the skin itself changing the texture and the resistance of skin, which perhaps made it more likely to degrade than ‘typical’ scaly skin. T. Rex, without the feathers, would probably be kind of like chicken legs. Probably scaly, probably pretty resistant to water and degradation at least while they’re alive.”

All in all, the museum does well to give us a look at how T-Rex evolved and about the information that the paleontologists have about the creature.

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