Everyone knows dinosaurs are old, a meteor caused mass extinction and the T. Rex was king of the dinosaurs. What a lot of people do not know is that the Tyrannosaurus Rex is actually a young dinosaur and his rule was fairly short.
As far as we can tell dinosaurs first appeared 251 million years ago in the Triassic period. Most dinosaurs during this period were actually mollusks that began to evolve into “modern” dinosaurs. The T. Rex does not evolve until the late cretaceous period which started only 125 million years ago. This means dinosaurs have been around for nearly 126 million years before the T. Rex roamed the earth. We know a mass extinction event, believed to be caused by a meteorite known as the Alvarez Event happened 65 million years ago. This means the T. Rex was only around for 60 million years, a short time span with all things considered.
So where did the T. Rex come from?
Something had to come first right? 125 million years of evolution lead to the evolution of the infamous T. Rex but what did it evolve from? Paleontologists now think they have an idea of what the T. Rex’s ancestors may have been. Two fossils have been found that are believed to be from a smaller tyrannosaur species dated 90 million years ago putting this dinosaur in the Jurassic period. This new tyrannosaurus species is known as Suskityrannus Hazelae and has many of the same characteristics and muscular composition as the infamous tyrannosaurus rex. These fossils were found in New Mexico in 1997 and in 1998 and papers describing the finds are finally being published. The fossils estimate that the Suskityrannus was a juvenile when it died and was only about 1 metre tall at the hip and could fit the jaws of the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex.