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Tufts-Love Rex: Fast Facts on the Recently Discovered Almost Complete T-Rex Skull

Aug 22, 2016 04:25 AM EDT
Tyrannosaurus Rex
Paleontologists discovered a fossilized remain of a 15-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex that lived about 66 million years ago.
(Photo : Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Paleontologists at the Burke Museum of National History and Culture and University of Washington have recently discovered about 20 percent of the remains of Tuft-Love Rex, a 2,500 pounds and four feet long skull of Tyrannosaurus Rex, during an expedition to the Hell Creek Formation in Montana.

Relatively Big in Size

According to a previous report from Nature World News, the discovery, which includes a complete skull, vertebrae, ribs, hips and lower jaw bones, was made after the researchers discovered pieces of fossilized bone protruding from a rocky hillside. Researchers estimated the size of Tuft-Love Rex to be 85 percent of the largest T-Rex fossil ever discovered.

Named after its discoverer, Jason Love and Luke Tufts, Love-Tuft Rex is believed to be 15 years old when it died and lived at the very end of the Cretaceous Period right before the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction about 66 million years ago.

Anatomy of Fierce T-Rex

Tyrannosaurus Rex or T-Rex is a very large carnivorous dinosaur that can live up to 25 to 30 years. The fierce beast could grow at an average of 40-feet long and 15 to 20 feet long. The meat-loving dinosaur used to feast on other dinosaurs, such as Edmontosaurus and Triceratops, as suggested by the crushed bones discovered in a fossilized poop of the dinosaur.

One in a Million

Despite being the most known species of dinosaurs in the world, fossilized remains of T-Rex is hard to come by. So far, there are only about 25 discovered remains of T-Rex found that are at least 20 percent complete. The Tuft-Love Rex is only the 15th reasonably complete skull of T-Rex known to exist in the world.

According to a press release, the expedition in the Hell Creek Formation is part of a multi-disciplinary project aiming to learn more about the final two million years of the dinosaur era and the first 1.5 million years after the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction by examining vertebrates, invertebrates, plants and geology of the area.

Available for Public Display

Dinosaur enthusiasts could see the plaster-covered Tuft-Love Rex skull, along with other T-Rex fossil in a lobby display at the Burke Museum from Aug. 20 to Oct. 2. The paleontologists will then try to remove the rock surrounding the skull after being removed in display and will feature the fully-exposed T-Rex skull in the New Burke Museum when it opens in 2019.

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