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Scientists find pregnant Tyrannosaurus Rex

Researchers at North Carolina State University believe a pregnant Tyrannosaurus Rex roamed Montana 68 million years ago.Mark Hallett

Researchers at North Carolina State University believe a pregnant Tyrannosaurus Rex roamed Montana 68 million years ago.

Scientists found evidence for the first time that a female T. Rex that roamed Montana 68 million years ago was expecting.

The discovery by paleontologists from North Carolina State University and North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is the first time researchers have been able to determine the gender of a dinosaur and could lead to more revelations about the evolution of egg laying in the extinct creatures’ modern progeny: birds.

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The researchers were able to confirm the T. Rex was pregnant due to the chemical makeup of what is known as the medullary bone, which is only present in modern birds before they are about to lay eggs.

“Just being able to identify a dinosaur definitively as a female opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Now that we can show pregnant dinosaurs have a chemical fingerprint, we need a concerted effort to find more,” said the study’s co-author and North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences paleontologist Lindsay Zanno, in a statement about the findings.

The remains of the pregnant T. Rex could also contain the long sought after presence of DNA, Discovery News reported.

“Yes, it’s possible,” Zanno told Discovery News. “We have some evidence that fragments of DNA may be preserved in dinosaur fossils, but this remains to be tested further.”

The research, published in a Scientific Reports study, is a breakthrough for paleontologists who have long struggled to determine gender in the prehistoric creatures.

“It’s a dirty secret, but we know next to nothing about sex-linked traits in extinct dinosaurs. Dinosaurs weren’t shy about sexual signaling, all those bells and whistles, horns, crests, and frills, and yet we just haven’t had a reliable way to tell males from females,” Zanno said.

lbult@nydailynews.com

Tags:
science ,
montana ,
north carolina

Nation / World – NY Daily News

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