Scientists Unearth Fossils Of T-Rex's Older Cousin, Name It The 'Reaper Of Death'

Scientists Unearth Fossils Of T-Rex's Older Cousin, Name It The 'Reaper Of Death'

According to the scientists, the 'Reaper of Death' was a vicious, meat-eating dinosaur with serrated teeth and a monstrous face.

Scientists on Monday announced that they have discovered a new species of dinosaur that is very closely related to Tyrannosaurus rex. T-Rex walked on Earth around the regions of what we now know as North America, nearly 80 million years ago. The recently-discovered fossils are of T-Rex's older cousin and according to the scientists, they were a vicious, meat-eating dinosaur with serrated teeth and a monstrous face. 



Dubbed as the 'Reaper of Death', the remains were unearthed in Alberta, Canada. As reported by Live Science, Thanatotheristes degrootorum is the oldest known Tyrannosaurus, aging 79.5 million years old. It is also the first previously unknown tyrannosaur species discovered from Canada in 50 years. Jared Voris, a doctoral student of paleontology at the University of Calgary in Alberta and study lead researcher said, "It definitely would have been quite an imposing animal, roughly 8 feet (2.4 meters) [tall] at the hips."



Thanatotheristes degrootorum lived during the Cretaceous period, which is also the last known period of the dinosaur age, which was about 145 million to 65 million years ago. The magnanimous beast, according to the scientist, had a mouth full of steak-knife-like teeth that were 7 centimeters long. The dinosaur was about 26 feet long or about the length of four king-size mattresses lined up end to end. 



The researchers found two partial skulls and jaws, so the entire mass of the species could not be examined, but the unearthed remains were enough to define the creature as a newfound species. Like other species of Tyrannosaurus, the "Reaper of Death" is also said to have some weird bumps on its skull that gave it a monstrous appearance. But, the dinosaur also had a distinct set of vertical ridges that ran from its eyes along its upper snout. Voris said, "These ridges are not like anything we've ever seen before in other tyrannosaur species. Exactly what the ridges do, we're not quite sure." 



Darla Zelenitsky, assistant professor of Dinosaur Palaeobiology at the University of Calgary, said in a conversation with AFP, "We chose a name that embodies what this tyrannosaur was as the only known large apex predator of its time in Canada, the reaper of death. The nickname has come to be Thanatos." As reported by Guardian

Image Source: Julius Scotonyi, Royal Tyrrell Museum


The remains of the newfound species of Dinosaur was discovered by the Canadian couple John and Sandra De Groot of Hays, who spotted the remains in 2010 on the shore of the Bow River, in southern Alberta. Another skull was also found in the nearby area, specifically in Alberta's Foremost Formation, a rock unit that still has the remains of a few more Dinosaur species.  

Recommended for you