ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A mini dinosaur was discovered in New Mexico. The researchers believe that it is an ancestor of the T-Rex. He was only 3 feet tall, but they say the finding is important.
A discovery of a 20-year-old dinosaur and scientists now know exactly what it is. "It's a cute little baby T-Rex," said Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico. The candidate Kat Schroeder. It has even been given a new name, "Suskityrannus hazelae".
Sterling Nesbitt, a professor at Virginia Tech Geoscience, was 16 years old when he discovered fossil remains during an excavation in the Zuni Basin in western New Mexico. Researchers have just realized that it was related to the well-known Tyrannosaurus Rex.
"These animals represent the kind of their ancestral body type before they become big … and the usual ones that appear in children's books, those that appear in movies," Nesbitt said. Although they are related, they have very different characteristics, and at 3 feet tall, they say that their entire body was only a little larger than the skull of the T-Rex.
"This animal has an elongated face unlike the large mbadive head of T-Rex, and its hind limbs are very long," said Nesbitt. The fossils of the duckbill creature date back to 92 million years of the Cretaceous Period.
"Now we're just trying to understand how they get their characteristics through these lineages for millions and millions of years," Nebitt said.
Local experts say that a finding like this offers a deeper insight into the evolution of the species. "It's something that changes our understanding of these things that develop this kind of hyper-predator way long before they were huge," Schroeder said.
Fossils are not exhibited anywhere. The new name, "Suskityrannus", pays homage to the word zuni for coyote.