By Christopher Carbone
Published March 25, 2019
That's one gigantic dinosaur.
Paleontologists at the University of Alberta recently reported the world's largest Tyrannosaurus rex, and the biggest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Canada.
The enormous dinosaur, which was 42 feet long and weighed 19,400 pounds, roamed prehistoric Saskatchewan 66 million years ago and was nicknamed Scotty.
"This is the rex of rexes," Scott Persons, lead author of the study and postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biological Sciences, said in a press release. "There is considerable size variability among Tyrannosaurus. Some individuals were lankier than others and some were more robust. Scotty exemplifies the robust."
The dinosaur, which earned its nickname for the celebratory bottle of Scotch that was consumed the night it was found, has leg bones that suggest it was larger than all other carnivorous dinosaurs.
According to a press release from the University of Alberta, the skeleton was first discovered in 1991, but the hard sandstone that encased the bones took more than a decade to remove — and scientists have only now been able to study Scotty fully assembled and realize how special it is.
"Scotty is the oldest T. rex known," Persons said. "By which I mean, it would have had the most candles on its last birthday cake. You can get an idea of how old a dinosaur is by cutting into its bones and studying its growth patterns. Scotty is all old growth."
Researchers estimate that Scotty was only in its early 30s when it died.
"By Tyrannosaurus standards, it had an unusually long life. And it was a violent one," Persons added. "Riddled across the skeleton are pathologies — spots where scarred bone records large injuries."
A new exhibit featuring Scotty is set to open in May at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.