World's largest Tyrannosaurus rex, 'Scotty,' unveiled in Saskatchewan
More than 25 years after it was discovered, the largest Tyrannosaurus rex in the world is on display in Regina, Sask., thanks to the efforts of a dedicated team of paleontologists who freed the 67 million-year-old skeleton from the rock encasing it.
‘Scotty’ – named after the celebratory bottle of scotch used to toast the discovery – was a T. rex that had a skeleton about 13 meters long and weighed more than 8,800 kilograms.
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Scotty is now on display at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and has had a warm reception thus far.
“I think this is fabulous for the city of Regina, for the province of Saskatchewan and our nation” said Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe. “It really is a world class exhibit.”
First discovered in the early 1990s, Scotty was encased in sandstone that took years of work to remove.
“This was incredibly unforgiving ground,” said Tim Tokaryk, curator of vertebrate paleontology and professor of geology at the University of Regina. “We blew jack hammers and air hammers on the rock. It was just so hard. I had a guy use a pickaxe and actually bent the pick axe [on the rock].”
Scotty represents an unusual portrayal of life some 67 million years ago, as paleontologists believe the dinosaur died at 30 years old, which is quite advanced by T. rex standards.
Scotty’s skeleton also offers clues about the harsh reality that even apex predators had to deal with during that time period, showcasing bite marks, broken ribs, an infected jaw and other injuries that would have been from other T. rex dinosaurs.
For now, Scotty puts Saskatchewan on the scientific map – something paleontologists are happy to share.
“We’ve known there are fossils in Saskatchewan for a hundred plus years,” said Tokaryk. “But now we can show we are at the high table of paleontology as well.”