Bakker, Currie & Williams, 1988
Nanotyrannus (meaning "dwarf tyrant") is possibly a separate genus of tyrannosaurid dinosaur, or juveniles of Tyrannosaurus or a similar genus. The issue is debated whether Nanotyrannus existed as a separate species or not ruling the land, destroying every competing species and being the apex predator of it's Time.
Only two or three specimens are known. They are from the end of the Upper Cretaceous, 67 million years ago in the hell creek formation in what's now Montana,South Dakota and Wyoming of the United States and The theory of Nanotyrannus was created by Jack Horner an American paleontologist. The theory of Nanotyrannus was popularized during the early 2000s but nowadays most scientists think that Nanotyrannus is a dubious taxon and not a valid genus rather being a juvenile of Tyrannosaurus. Some scientists that believe in Nanotyrannus think that could also be an Albertasaurid possibly related to Albertasaurus or the earlier Gorgosaurus although that's heavily debated. If Nanotyrannus was a valid genus then it would have hunted Pachicephalosaurus,Struthiomimus , Ornithomimus and young Edmontosaurus. A tooth mark found in 2010 in a juvenile Tyrannosaurus shows that it probably was an opportunistic carnivore, eating anything that it found or more possibly that it accidentally got into a fight. The most wild theory's suggest that it could have been a Canibal.
Description: Nanotyrannus is speculated to be around 6 meters long or 18 feet (from tail to nose) and 2 meters high or 6 feet (at the shoulder). It had great, frontal facing eyes and probably had great smell like other Tyrannosaurids. Just like all other late Cretaceous dinosaurs it went extinct 66 million years ago during the K/T extinction event.
(Note for those who don't know originally some scientists tough the Nonotyrannus bite marks mighthave belonged to Dakotaraptor a late Cretaceous Dromeosaur. But now we know that this theory is false because the tooth doesn't match, and the same is with other Dromeosaurids like Dromeosaurus and Troodon.)
Evolution: If Nanotyrannus is more related to Tyrannosaurus, then it probably evolved from the Mongolian Tarbosaurus the same dinosaur that gave rise to T-Rex. If it's more related to Albertasaurus then it's origin can be traced to the Canadian Gorgosaurus. Another thing to point out is if Nanotyrannus was a valid genus then T-Rex would not have been the last Tyrannosaurid like we used to think. Since Nanotyrannus was smaller than Tyrannosaurus it probably was a lot faster and more agile then it "cousin"
The smoking gun: The great spreader of this theory Jack Horner few years ago revield that he doesn't actually like Tyrannosaurus that's because he went on an expansion looking for Hadrosaur fossils but only found T-Rex fossils that's why he made the incredible inaccurate theory that T-Rex was an scavenger. His explanation was that it short arm's and great smell made it an scavenger but really made fun of and tried to spread lies about this dinosaur not considering the facts. Now scientists think that the Nanotyrannus was also a hoax, and just a way to show how he dislikes Tyrannosaurus.
The future: Every once in a while a new T-Rex fossil is found heating the argument up especially when a juvenile is found, but that's rare. Alto it seems like the Team T-Rex is winning because over the last decade our view of Nanotyrannus and Tyrannosaurus has changed a lot since 2001-2010. Scientists think that the Dueling dinosaurs fossil could finally end this argument but scientists can't study this well preserved fossil of an Tyrannosaurus and triceratops because it is for sale but nobody could raise 10 million dollars so it just sits there ready to be studied. But until then we can just argue and argue for time.
References[change | change source]
- Tsuihiji, T.; Watabe, M.; Tsogtbaatar, K.; Tsubamoto, T.; Barsbold, R.; Suzuki, S.; Lee, A.H.; Ridgely, R.C.; Kawahara, Y.; Witmer, L.M. (2011). "Cranial osteology of a juvenile specimen of Tarbosaurus bataar from the Nemegt Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of Bugin Tsav, Mongolia". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 31 (3): 497–517. doi:10.1080/02724634.2011.557116.