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tiny T. Rex!

Paleontologists have identified a 125-million-year-old T. Rex relative. A dude digging in northern China discovered it and turned it over to science when he realized it was something important. It's only nine feet long but is built just like its descendant:

Click the image to see the NPR story.

This throws scientists for a loop, because the prevailing theory is that the big T. Rex's huge head, short arms, long legs, and other features evolved over time as it grew bigger. But this little guy has those features, too. Huh!

"Raptor Rex" (as it's being called) is truly tiny - about the weight of a human, only longer because of the tail. The T. Rex we all know and love was 100 times as massive.

Welcome, Raptor Rex!

Chris

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
tessagratton
Sep. 18th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
WOO! That's so cute!

...in a deadly kind of way.
clevermanka
Sep. 18th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
Cute and even more terrifying than a full-size T. Rex, IMO.
mckitterick
Sep. 18th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
Totally. This little guy can look you in the eye... and fit through doorways.
clevermanka
Sep. 18th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
Great. I need my axe back now, thank you.
mckitterick
Sep. 18th, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
I predict that once these guys start showing up in dino movies and hit the toy-store shelves, kids will forget all about the raptors we fell in love with when Jurassic Park was on the big screen.
tessagratton
Sep. 18th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
But...but...but the CLAW! The awesome CLAW! And brainpower!
mckitterick
Sep. 18th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
Those things are true, true. But the JP raptors wouldn't have such an easy time against this maneuverable little beast!
tessagratton
Sep. 18th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
Unless they were really hunting as a pack. 8 to 1 is still our raptors for the win! :D
silverfae
Sep. 18th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
Maybe it's just a baby T. Rex? :)

Awwwwww.
mckitterick
Sep. 18th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
They checked its bone-growth marks and estimate it at between 5-7 years old for a dude who is old at 10. T.Rex is fully grown at 10 and old at 20.
silverfae
Sep. 18th, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
So it's a teenage T Rex!

Even more dangerous, LOL.
roseconnelly
Sep. 18th, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC)
A dude digging in northern China discovered it and turned it over to science when he realized it was something important

That's not the story I heard about it exactly. Some dude found it while digging, smuggled it out of China and sold it on the black market. Someone who bought it in the US and realized it was something important and turned over to scientists in the US. The US plans on eventually turning back over to China.
mckitterick
Sep. 18th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
Ha! So the paleontologist was being nice in how he presented it. Of course!
arian1
Sep. 18th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)
So instead of OM NOM NOM NOM it's om nom nom nom?
mckitterick
Sep. 18th, 2009 10:41 pm (UTC)
Pretty much!
siro_gravity
Sep. 19th, 2009 02:49 am (UTC)
wowee!!
so cute!

and so interesting.
hlmt
Sep. 20th, 2009 09:50 am (UTC)
Those guys just don't look right like that. I think they sat on their tails, and balanced like kangaroos. Kangaroos have tiny hands too... =)

Just a random thought at 3am. Heh.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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