Paleontologists in Montana have unearthed a fossil that may be the remains of a baby Tyrannosaurus rex.
Researchers and students from the University of Kansas recently excavated the fossil from the Hell Creek Formation in central Montana. The remains include a complete section of the upper jaw with all of the teeth intact, as well as parts of the dinosaur’s skull, foot, hips and backbones, according to the University of Kansas.
The remains likely belong to a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex that lived 66.5 million years ago, according to researchers, but could also belong to another species of small, carnivorous dinosaur.
“The teeth suggest it’s a Tyrannosaurus rex; however, there is still more work to be done,” said David Burnham, preparator of vertebrate paleontology at Kansas University’s Biodiversity Institute. “Because a young T. rex is so rare, there are only a few that have been found over the years, so it’s difficult to discern what are changes due to growth or if the differences in the bones reflect different species.”
Burnham noted that the University of Kansas is fortunate that it has an older T. rex to use as comparison with the latest find, as well another young T. rex on loan.
University of Kansas paleontologists are now analyzing their find and are planning to return to Hell Creek Formation. “We’re going to go back out this summer — we’re going right to that spot,” said Burnham. “We think and hope there’s more there.”
The researchers hope to publish their results in the coming months.
Paleontologists are shedding new light on the time of the dinosaurs. An incredible dinosaur path, for example, which even shows the tracks of a baby dinosaur, has been discovered at NASA’s Space Flight Center. Experts also recently announced the discovery of a new species of dinosaur in Egypt, marking an important prehistoric link between prehistoric Africa and Europe. The fossilized remains of Mansourasaurus shahinae, a school-bus sized dinosaur, were found in the Sahara desert.
Other finds include the fossilized remains of a tiny duck-sized dinosaur with rainbow feathers were recently discovered in China. Experts also found the remains of a turkey-sized dinosaur in south Eastern Australia, while the 150-million-year-old fossil remains of a bird-like dinosaur were found in Germany.
Last year, vandals wrecked a dinosaur footprint in rock at a renowned paleontology site in Australia.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers