Call now! (ID:121746)+44-20-3695-1294
HomeAncient HistoryBaby T-Rex were lethal killers ‘born ready’ to hunt

Baby T-Rex were lethal killers ‘born ready’ to hunt

Baby T-Rex were lethal killers ‘born ready’ to hunt
A cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex discovered in Montana greets visitors as they enter the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington. (Credits: AP)
A cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex discovered in Montana greets visitors as they enter the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington. (Credits: AP)

Some baby dinosaurs were lethal killers and ‘born ready’ to hunt, according to a new analysis of dinosaur remains.

Just-born dino offspring from a savage group of ancient predators, which include T-Rex, came fully toothed and clawed, and were the size of an average dog.

The terrifying conclusion comes from newly discovered baby fossils of the tyrannosaur species, which were the apex predators in North America and Asia during the end of the dinosaur age.

Consisting of a 3 centimetre-long, 77 million-year-old jaw fragment, unearthed in Montana, USA, and 72 million-year-old claw found in Alberta, Canada, the fossils appear to be from slightly smaller cousins of the Tyrannosaurus-rex, called Daspletosaurus and Albertosaurus.

Palaeontologists estimate that an adult T-Rex would have been more than 12 metres long and weighed upwards of seven tonnes.

EMBARGOED TO 1200 MONDAY JANUARY 25 Undated handout photo issued by the University of Edinburgh showing an artist's illustration of a baby tyrannosaurus which were the size of Border Collie dog when taking first steps, a team of palaeontologists has discovered. The team examined fossilised remains of a tiny jaw bone and claw which had been found in Canada and the US, which belonged to a baby tyrannosaur ? cousin of the T-Rex. PA Photo. Issue date: Monday January 25, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story SCIENCE Tyrranosaurs. Photo credit should read: Julius Csotonyi/University of Edinburgh/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
These baby dinosaurs may not have been as sweet as they seem (Photo: PA)

The discovered fossils indicate that the dinosaur offspring were much bigger than any other known mammal babies, past or present.

Longer than a metre, or the size of a medium dog, the dinosaurs would have hatched from giant eggs, perhaps more than half a metre in length – that is almost 10 times longer than a chicken egg.

As well as giving hints to the size of the babies, the jaw bone also possesses distinctive tyrannosaur traits, like a prominent chin and a deep groove on the inside of the bone.

The scientists that made the analysis were surprised at how similar the embryonic skeletal fragments were to more developed fossil samples, and noted the baby jaws contained fully functional teeth.

EMBARGOED TO 1200 MONDAY JANUARY 25 Undated handout photo issued by the University of Edinburgh showing the fossilised remains of a baby tyrannosaur. The baby tyrannosaurus was the size of Border Collie dog when taking first steps, a team of palaeontologists has discovered. The team examined fossilised remains of a tiny jaw bone and claw which had been found in Canada and the US, which belonged to a baby tyrannosaur ? cousin of the T-Rex. PA Photo. Issue date: Monday January 25, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story SCIENCE Tyrranosaurs. Photo credit should read: Greg Funston/University of Edinburgh/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
The baby fossils were bigger than any previously seen. (Photo: PA)

‘So although we can’t get a complete picture, what we can see looks very similar to the adults,’ said University of Edinburgh paleontologist Greg Funston, lead author of the research.

Funston added that the baby dinosaurs appeared ‘born ready to hunt, already possessing some of the key adaptations that gave tyrannosaurs their powerful bites.’

‘It’s likely that they were capable of hunting fairly quickly after birth, but we need more fossils to tell exactly how fast that was.’