Paleontologists discover world's biggest and oldest Tyrannosaurus rex in Canada
Paleontologists at the University of Alberta announced on Friday that the world’s biggest and oldest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton was uncovered in Saskatchewan.
Named for a celebratory bottle of scotch that was shared the night it was discovered, “Scotty” is also the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Canada.
“The field crew wanted to raise a glass to toast the T. rex and the only spirits that were on hand that seemed appropriate was a very old bottle of scotch,” Scott Persons, a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Alberta’s Department of Biological Sciences, told CTV News Channel.
Paleontologists say that the meat-eating dinosaur, which has a skeleton that is 13-metres long, weighed more than 8,800 kilograms when it roamed prehistoric Saskatchewan roughly 66 million years ago – about 400 kilograms heavier than its heaviest counterparts.
Though Scotty is believed to have been in its early 30s when it died, Persons said that it had an “unusually long life.”
Scotty’s life is also believed to have been particularly violent.
“Riddled across the skeletons are pathologies – spots where scarred bone records large injuries,” Persons said.
Among its injuries are broken ribs, an infected jaw, an impacted tooth and a bite on its tail from other T. rex dinosaurs.
The dinosaur skeleton was first discovered more than two decades ago, in 1991, but paleontologists only announced the discovery now because it took many years for the sandstone encasing the bones to be removed.
“It was basically like cement encrusting the skeleton,” Persons told CTV News Channel.
He added that the “thrill of the discovery of Scotty happened very gradually because so much of the skeleton was made available piece-by-piece.”
The skeleton will be on display at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina.