Possible new tyrannosaur species uncovered

Discoveries at Springfield Science Museum and Amherst College point to new Tyrannosaur

Possible new tyrannosaur species uncovered
Tyrannosaurid Bone, Springfield Science Museum photos by Museum Staff

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A tyrannosaurid bone was discovered earlier this year by paleontologist Sebastian Dalman, who has also been researching collections at the Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College over the past few years.

Professor Frederick Loomis
Photo of Professor Loomis courtesy of Beneski Museum, Amherst College

A pubis bone from Hell Creek, Montana (an area famous for T. rex fossils), collected by Professor Loomis was improperly labeled by one of his students and sent to Amherst College in the 1920’s.

Paleontologist Dalman and Dr. Lucas determined the bone was actually found at Ojo Alamo Formation site in New Mexico. They discovered the bone actually came from a new tyrannosaurid species, a slightly smaller cousin of the famous T. rex. Two other researchers at the Beneski Museum at Amherst College, found a jawbone also from the Ojo Formation site, came from this same new species.

While preparing a Alamosaurus bone for display at the Springfield Science Museum, paleontologist Dalman found bite marks and compared it to the jawbone and determined that the marks were most likely made by a member of this new tyrannosaur species. If so, the bite marks provide the first evidence in North America that tyrannosaurs fed on Alamosaurus.

These findings are under review to be proven correct and will the new species will then be given a proper scientific name. In the meantime, the pubis bone from the still-unnamed tyrannosaur is part of a new display in Dinosaur Hall at the Springfield Science Museum, alongside the larger Alamosaurus bone and photos from Professor Loomis’ expeditions.

“We’re all intrigued by this discovery, and extremely excited to see how this all turns out,” commented David J. Stier, Director of the Springfield Science Museum, adding “We’re indebted to our colleagues at the Beneski Museum and at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas for their assistance with this effort.”

 

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The Springfield Museums are located on the Quadrangle at 21 Edwards Street in downtown Springfield. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information about programming and special events at the Springfield Museums, please visit springfieldmuseums.org or call 413-263-6800.

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