A Small Dinosaur Asks a Big Question
The discovery of the Raptorex, a tiny precursor to the gigantic Tyrannosaurus rex, raises the question of whether other jumbo dinosaurs had budget-sized versions.
At only 9 feet in length, Raptorex already had the powerful jaws, puny arms, and quick legs of its much larger and more famous descendants.
Weighing as little as 1/100th that of its descendant Tyrannosaurus rex, the 125-million-year-old Raptorex shows off the distinctive body plan of this most dominant line of predatory dinosaurs. This drawing is based on a fossil skeleton discovered in Inner Mongolia, China.
Sculptors add skin, scales and rudimentary feathers to a cast of the nearly complete skull of the new tyrannosaur Raptorex, which means "king raptor."
University of Chicago paleontologist Paul Sereno adds the toe claw to a well preserved skeleton of the new tyrannosaur Raptorex. "This animal really changes the way we look at all tyrannosaur evolution," he said.
The skull of Raptorex is dwarfed by the skull of "Sue," the famous adult T. rex at the Field Museum in Chicago.
The two-fingered forelimb of an adult T. rex is compared to the very similar 8-inch forelimb of Raptorex.
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