Smaller Dinosaur That Evolved Into The T-Rex Found In Utah

Feb 21, 2019, 8:46 PM

PROVO, Utah – The first-ever tiny Tyrannosaurs discovered is making big news in the paleontology world today and it’s big news in Utah, because this where it was discovered, near Cedar Mountain in Central Utah’s Emery County.

It’s exciting news for local paleontologists like Brooks Britt, a professor of geology at Brigham Young University.

Brooks Britt, a professor of geology at Brigham Young University

“It is like Christmas every day you walk in the lab and the students are extracting some new bones out of the rock no human has ever seen before,” he said.

So naturally, Britt is thrilled to see this research published today, by Lindsay Zanno, a paleontologist from North Carolina State University, who uncovered a new dinosaur, called Moros Intrepidus, from a femur bone found in Emery County in 2013.

“This is a real substantial find to find post material, something besides teeth, we knew they were there and they went out and found it,” he said.

The researchers’ discovery of what they say was a 7-year-old dinosaur, about the size of a deer, makes it the oldest Cretaceous era Tyrannosaurs ever discovered in North America.

“You usually just find bits and pieces or some teeth, here they have a complete hind limb, but it sheds a lot of information on the evolution of the Tyrannosaurs here in North America,” he added.

The find from 97 million years ago, helps to bridge what had been a 70 million year gap for researchers.

“Filling that gap in here, getting closer and closer to the big tyrant time when you had Tyrannosaurus itself,” he said.

At BYU, Britt says researchers are also making new finds, with a home court advantage in Utah, a hot spot for finding and learning more about dinosaurs.

“There is a lot more to find out there, and they are finding new things all the time, and this shows that patience pays off, that is what it is.”

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Smaller Dinosaur That Evolved Into The T-Rex Found In Utah