Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Happy Birthday, Tyrant Lizard King!

Today it has been 100 years since the discovery of the first Tyranosaurus Rex fossils. I have to admit that I've never really been a fan of the T. Rex as much as many people are. I guess I'm just not as impressed with it's label as the biggest land predator that ever lived. I like the quirky, little dinos a bit better, like Troodon. And my favourite big theropod is probably the Ceratosaurus, with its three horns.

Check out the Hairy Museum of Natural History for lots more info, including the first published illustration of the beastie standing next to a human skeleton for scale. It's in the famously discredited "kangaroo" pose.

T. Rex is still pretty damn interesting, despite being passed in the biggest theropod sweepstakes by Giganotosaurus, and possibly by Charcharodontosaurus and Spinosaurus. Researchers have just found what may be preserved soft tissue inside the bones of a T. Rex fossil. Whether this is really preserved blood vessels, proteins or what have you, or merely an artifact of the way the fossils were being prepared will no doubt be fought over for years, but it puts the big guy at the forefront of research again.

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