The grandfathers of all carnivorous dinosaurs, according to popular myth, the Tyrannaosaurus rex (better known, perhaps, as the T-rex), probably grew up quicker than previously thought. The giant flesh-eaters grew, according to current estimates, as fast as 3,950 pounds per year while in their teens.
We estimate they [Tyrannosaurs] grew as fast as 3,950 pounds per year (1790 kg) during the teenage period of growth, which is more than twice the previous estimate, said John R. Hutchinson of The Royal Veterinary College, London, in a press release.
Scientists digitally modeled flesh on five T-rex skeletons, including Sue - the largest and most complete T-rex skeleton ever found. The scientists found that these dinosaurs were up to a third bigger and grew two times as fast, into adulthood, than previous research had suggested, AFP reported.
We knew she was big but the 30 per cent increase in her weight was unexpected, Discovery News quoted co-author Peter Makovicky, curator of dinosaurs at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, as saying.
The new models also found that the 42-feet long Sue may have been much heavier than earlier estimates. She tipped the scales at approximately 9 tons, according to the computer model.
The real advantage to our method is that the models can be adjusted to accommodate the variation that is inherent in nature, so we don't have to pick an arbitrary result, but rather deal with more meaningful ranges of results, said co-author Karl T. Bates of the University of Liverpool.