Meet Scotty— the world's largest-ever Tyrannosaurus rex unearthed by palaeontologists from the University of Alberta in Canada.
According to USA Today, the specimen was nicknamed “Scotty” after the celebratory bottle of scotch scientists drank following its discovery nearly two decades ago. Its leg bones suggest a living weight of more than 8,800 kilograms, making it bigger than all other carnivorous dinosaurs. A study, first published in the Anatomical Record, explains how the T-rex was 13 metres long and lived about 66 million years ago.
While it was originally discovered in Saskatchewan near the U.S. border in 1991, it took more than a decade to remove the sandstone that had encased the skeleton. Scientists have now been able to study the skeleton more closely.
"This is the rex of rexes," said dinosaur paleontologist Dr. Scott Persons, lead author of the study and postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biological Sciences, in a press release. "There is considerable size variability among Tyrannosaurus. Some individuals were lankier than others and some were more robust."
For Dr. Persons, who has made it his life goal to explore lost worlds and uncover prehistoric beasts, Scotty epitomizes the robust. He adds that after careful measurements of its legs, hips, and even shoulder, Scotty is undoubtedly heftier than other T-rex specimens. The skeleton is not only the heaviest and the largest, but also the oldest.
It is my paleontological pleasure to share a new paper on “Scotty”. This is a T. rex of extraordinary size (8,800+ kg) and age (28+ years old). Scotty’s skeleton is riddled with pathologies. It was hard to be the king.https://t.co/MgqheWF8pL— Scott Persons (@WScottPersons) March 22, 2019
#FossilFriday #Massive2019 #science pic.twitter.com/6NdfxAcYYk
Dr. Persons explains that you can get an idea of how old a dinosaur is by cutting into its bones and studying its growth patterns. He said: "Scotty is all old growth."
The dinosaur was thought to have been around 30 years old when it died. Dr. Persons also said it had a violent life, with many injuries found through scarred bone. The battle scars included broken ribs, an infected jaw, and what may be a bite from another T-rex on its tail.
At the #TrexDiscoveryCentre in #EastendSK, I spend my days with this cool beasty. Recently described as the world's largest #Trex, 'Scotty' hails from the Frenchman River valley of SW #Saskatchewan, discovered by a local school teacher in 1991. @royalsaskmuseum @CHdestinationA pic.twitter.com/rWJqRNYtGt— Emily Bamforth (@EL_Bamforth) March 26, 2019
"I think there will always be bigger discoveries to be made," Dr Persons said. "But as of right now, this particular Tyrannosaurus is the largest terrestrial predator known to science."
The skeleton, which is about 65 percent complete, is scheduled to go on display in May at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.