Tyrannosaur embryos: the cutest baby dinosaurs ever?

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The secret life of tyrannosaur embryos what you need to know
The first tyrannosaur embryos ever found were discovered in 2020.

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For those in a hurry

  • Tyrannosaur embryos are the first fossils of baby tyrannosaurs ever found.
  • They reveal that these dinosaurs started out as tiny, fluffy creatures, about the size of a Chihuahua.
  • They also show that tyrannosaurs had a long growth spurt, reaching their enormous adult size in about 20 years.
  • Tyrannosaur embryos are very rare and precious, and can help us learn more about the life history of these fearsome predators.

The discovery of a lifetime

Imagine finding a fossil of a baby dinosaur. Now imagine finding a fossil of a baby tyrannosaur, one of the most iconic and powerful dinosaurs ever. That’s what happened to some lucky paleontologists who discovered the first tyrannosaur embryos in North America.

The fossils are a tiny foot claw and a lower jaw, both from different species of tyrannosaurs that lived about 75 million years ago. The claw was found in Alberta, Canada, and the jaw was found in Montana, USA. Both fossils are from dinosaurs that were still developing inside their eggs, which means they are the youngest tyrannosaurs ever known.

Tyrannosaur embryos: How cute were they?

Using 3D scans and comparisons with other dinosaur bones, the researchers estimated that the tyrannosaur embryos were about three feet long, including their long tails. That’s about the size of a Chihuahua, or a small dog. They also had fuzzy feathers covering their bodies, which probably helped them stay warm and camouflaged.

But don’t let their cuteness fool you. These baby tyrannosaurs were born to be killers. They had sharp teeth and claws, and a strong bite force. They also had large brains and keen senses, which made them smart and agile hunters. They probably fed on small animals like lizards, mammals, and insects, until they grew big enough to tackle larger prey.

How fast did they grow?

Tyrannosaurs had one of the most impressive growth spurts in the animal kingdom. They hatched from eggs that were about the size of a football, but they grew to be over 40 feet long and weigh more than 10 tons. That’s like going from a Chihuahua to an elephant in about 20 years!

To achieve this remarkable feat, tyrannosaurs had to eat a lot of food and avoid predators and diseases. They also had to cope with changes in their body shape and proportions as they grew. For example, their heads became larger and more robust, while their arms became smaller and more useless. They also lost some of their feathers as they matured, exposing their scaly skin.

Tyrannosaur embryos: Why are they important?

Tyrannosaur embryos are very rare and precious fossils. They can help us learn more about the life history of these amazing dinosaurs, such as how they developed, how they behaved, and how they evolved. They can also help us understand how tyrannosaurs adapted to different environments and climates over millions of years.

Tyrannosaur embryos are also very cool and fascinating. They show us that even the most fearsome predators started out as tiny, fluffy creatures that could fit in your hand. They remind us that dinosaurs were not just monsters, but living animals with complex life cycles and histories.