Throughout the Cretaceous period, a predatory dinosaur the size of a school bus, known as a tyrannosaurus rex, roamed the earth in packs of up to 2.5 billion.
Researchers revealed in Science magazine on April 15 how many Tyrannosaurus rex (T.rex) there were throughout its 2.4 million-year lifespan on Earth.
The extent of its geographic range, body mass, development habits, lifespan, generation duration, and the overall amount of time that tyrannosaurs lived until going extinct 66 million years ago were among the aspects that the researchers took into account.
The hypothesis known as Damuth’s law, which associates population with body mass—the larger the animal, the fewer individuals—was another area of interest for the researchers.
According to the analysis’s findings, there were around 2.5 billion tyrannosaurs in total, with just 20,000 adults existing at any given time.
Since the T. rex was initially described in 1905, fossils belonging to around 40 individuals have been found. These enormous fossilized “monster” fossils from prehistory give scientists a wealth of important insights.
One of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs, the tyrannosaurus had a jaw that could crush bones, a gigantic, muscular jaw, and a mouth full of enormous, serrated teeth. Its head was around 1.5 meters in length. the size of a banana, powerful legs, little forelimbs with only two fingers, and an acute sense of smell.
The biggest known T. rex as of right now is Sue, a fossil housed at the Field Museum in Chicago, USA. Sue is 12.3 meters long, weighs an estimated 9 tons and lives roughly 33 years.
According to recent study, the typical adult Tyrannosaurus rex weighs 5.2 tons, with an average lifetime of 28 years, a generation time of 19 years, and a range of around 125,000 generations. The geography is around 2.3 million square kilometers.
A tyrannosaur’s average population density was estimated by the researchers to be one per 100 square kilometers.
Fossils of Tyrannosaurus rex have been discovered in the US states of Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. According to legend, the tyrannosaurus extinction occurred when a meteorite struck Mexico, wiping out three-quarters of all living things.
Paleontologist Charles Marshall, the principal investigator and director of the Museum of Paleontology with Berkeley Professor of Integrative Biology, stated that despite the extreme uncertainty in the estimates, the study is a valuable attempt to learn more about this well-known dinosaur, even though some of the hypotheses may be contested by other paleontologists. According to Mr. Marshall, this method may be used to investigate other extinct creatures.
A small town could have only 20,000 residents, according to co-author of the study and paleontologist Ashley Poust of the San Diego Natural History Museum. “While 2.5 billion tyrannosaur individuals is a very large number, it is only equivalent to about 1 billion dinosaurs,” Poust said. “That’s equivalent to about 1/3 of the current population of the earth.”