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New Evidence Suggests a Warm and Fuzzy T-Rex

Elizabeth Field

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When one pictures a T-Rex, images instantly appear in your mind of a scaly, monstrous predator. However, recent research suggests that this familiar primordial creature may actually be more reminiscent of a warm and fuzzy pet: a ferocious, seven-ton warm and fuzzy pet.

A recent discovery in Northeastern China shows evidence of a tyrannosaurus species which lived 60 million years before the tyrannosaurus Rex. The fossil preserved remains of a fluffy down coat, resembling feathers, make it the largest feathered dinosaur ever unearthed.

In recent years, there have been many discoveries of primitive dinosaurs with feathery coats; however this is the first time we have seen an animal of this magnitude with such features. It has been a long, heated debate between scientists whether larger dinosaur species lost their feathers as they grew in size, or whether the fossils of dinosaurs with feathers have yet to be uncovered.

“People need to start changing their image of T. rex,” said Luis Chiappe, director of the Dinosaur Institute at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.

A large team of Chinese and Canadian scientists studied and analyzed three well-preserved fossil skeletons which were uncovered in northeastern China. The fossils showed remnants of a “long, thick coat” on the dinosaur’s arms and neck. Although it was patchy elsewhere, scientists at the site believe the coat would have extended across its entire body.

Further study shows that this species lived approximately 125 million years ago. They were about 30 feet long and weighed around one ton. While smaller than the more common T. rex, this predecessor was just as ferocious. “Having feathers doesn’t make it less threatening or less fearsome,” said Thomas Holtz, professor at the University of Maryland.

The new dinosaur species has been named “Yutyrannus huali” which translates to “beautiful feathered tyrant.”

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
New Evidence Suggests a Warm and Fuzzy T-Rex