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Tyrannosaurus


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Author Topic: Tyrannosaurus  (Read 3301 times)
Manetho
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« on: July 23, 2007, 01:26:39 pm »

Classification

Tyrannosaurus is the type genus of the superfamily Tyrannosauroidea, the family Tyrannosauridae, and the subfamily Tyrannosaurinae. Other members of the tyrannosaurine subfamily include the North American Daspletosaurus and the Asian Tarbosaurus,[9][10] both of which have occasionally been synonymized with Tyrannosaurus.[11] Tyrannosaurids were once commonly thought to be descendants of earlier large theropods such as megalosaurs and carnosaurs, although more recently they were reclassified with the generally smaller coelurosaurs.[12]

In 1955, Soviet paleontologist Evgeny Maleev named a new species, Tyrannosaurus bataar, from Mongolia.[13] By 1965, this species had been renamed Tarbosaurus bataar.[14] Despite the renaming, many phylogenetic analyses have found Tarbosaurus bataar to be the sister taxon of Tyrannosaurus rex,[10] and it has often been considered an Asian species of Tyrannosaurus.[12][15][16] A recent redescription of the skull of Tarbosaurus bataar has shown that it was much narrower than that of Tyrannosaurus rex and that during a bite, the distribution of stress in the skull would have been very different, closer to that of Alioramus, another Asian tyrannosaur.[17] A related cladistic analysis found that Alioramus, not Tyrannosaurus, was the sister taxon of Tarbosaurus, which, if true, would suggest that Tarbosaurus and Tyrannosaurus should remain separate.[9]

Other tyrannosaurid fossils found in the same formations as T. rex were originally classified as separate taxa, including Aublysodon and Albertosaurus megagracilis,[11] the latter being named Dinotyrannus megagracilis in 1995.[18] However, these fossils are now universally considered to belong to juvenile T. rex.[19] A small but nearly complete skull from Montana, 60 cm (2 ft) long, may be an exception. This skull was originally classified as a species of Gorgosaurus (G. lancensis) by Charles W. Gilmore in 1946,[20] but was later referred to a new genus, Nanotyrannus.[21] Opinions remain divided on the validity of N. lancensis. Many paleontologists consider the skull to belong to a juvenile T. rex.[22] There are minor differences between the two species, including the higher number of teeth in N. lancensis, which lead some scientists to recommend keeping the two genera separate until further research or discoveries clarify the situation.
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