Prehistoric heavy goods vehicles such as the Tyrannosaurus rex may have surpassed its smaller rivals during their teenage years, leaving medium-sized dinosaurs missing from the fossil record, researchers at the University of New Mexico and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have discovered.
Paleontologists have long wondered why the number of different types of dinosaurs known to the world is so low, especially among small and medium-sized species. Now, a new study published in the journal Science suggests that it could be because they were outclassed by adolescent mega-therapy that was not yet fully developed.
Although they reached the size of double-decker buses, colossal dinosaurs such as the T. rex started life relatively small – roughly the size of a Chihuahua – because they were born from eggs. This means that they would likely have competed with smaller dinosaurs as they grew, according to the researchers.
“We wanted to test the idea that dinosaurs could take on the roles of multiple species as they grew, limiting the number of actual species that could coexist in a community,” said Kat Schroeder, graduate student of the UNM Department of…
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