Should T. rex be 3 species? New study sparks fierce debate.
If a controversial new study is right, famous fossils such as Sue and Stan aren’t T. rex after all. But leading experts are highly skeptical.
More than 66 million years ago, a “tyrant lizard king” ruled western North America: the fearsome predatory dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex. But how large was this monarch’s royal family? Could what we call T. rex today be composed of multiple species?
In a controversial new study in the journal Evolutionary Biology, three paleontologists argue that the fossils assigned to T. rex cluster into three different body types, which they further contend represent three separate species. In addition to T. rex, the researchers propose two new species names: T. regina and T. imperator, from the Latin for “queen” and “emperor.”
“For Tyrannosaurus, all the specimens from North America have been put into the same species, T. rex … and that’s