Tyrannosaurus Rex Timeline

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Tyrannosaurus Rex Timeline

220 million years ago
First dinosaurs evolve during the Triassic period.
67 million years ago
Tyrannosaurus Rex first evolves.

Tyrannosaurus rex

65 million years ago
Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event: All non-avian dinosaurs (including Tyrannosaurus rex) go extinct.

The K/T Extinction Event may have been caused by an asteroid impact:
K/T Extinction Event may have been caused by an asteroid impact

Teeth, which are now known to be from Tyrannosaurus rex, are found by Arthur Lakes near Golden, Colorado.
Postcranial fragments, which are now known to be from Tyrannosaurus rex, are found by John Bell Hatcher in eastern Wyoming. At the time, these fossils are thought to be from Ornithomimus.

John Bell Hatcher:
John Bell Hatcher

Edward Drinker Cope finds vertebra fragments belonging to Tyrannosaurus rex in South Dakota. Cope names the animal Manospondylus gigas. Note: It is more than a century before it is realized that Manospondylus gigas is the same animal as Tyrannosaurus rex.

Edward Drinker Cope:
Edward Drinker Cope

Manospondylus vertebra:
Manospondylus vertebra

Barnum Brown finds a partial skeleton Tyrannosaurus rex The fossil is mixed with Ankylosaurus osteoderms (presumably its last meal), although this is not realized at the time.

Barnum Brown:
Barnum Brown

Barnum Brown finds a second Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton in the Hell Creek formation in Montana.

Map of Hell Creek and Lance Formations

Henry Fairfield Osborn, President of American Museum of Natural History, describes and names Brown's 1900 and 1902 finds in a scientific paper. The 1902 find he names Tyrannosaurus rex, but wrongly believing the 1900 find to be an armored theropod, he names this specimen Dynamosaurus imperiosus.

Dynamosaurus jaw:
Dynamosaurus jaw

Henry Fairfield Osborn realizes that Tyrannosaurus rex and Dynamosaurus imperiosus are synonyms. Tyrannosaurus rex becomes the valid name for the species on the basis that it appeared first in the 1905 paper.

Henry Fairfield Osborn:
Henry Fairfield Osborn

Soviet paleontologist Evgeny Aleksandrovich Maleev describes a new species of Tyrannosaurus from Mongolia which he calls "Tyrannosaurus bataar".
"Tyrannosaurus bataar" is recognized as belonging to a different Genus from Tyrannosaurus rex, and hence is renamed "Tarbosaurus bataar".

Tarbosaurus bataar:
Tarbosaurus bataar

Amateur paleontologist, Susan Hendrickson, finds the most complete (approximately 85% complete) Tyrannosaurus rex yet found. It is nicknamed "Sue" in honor of the finder.
The Black Hills Institute of Geological Research finds more Tyrannosaurus bones in the same location in South Dakota as Edward Drinker Cope did in 1892. It is believed that these bones are from the same individual, and it is discovered that Cope's Manospondylus gigas is in fact a Tyrannosaurus rex.

According to strict priority, and the normal rules of rules of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). Tyrannosaurus rex ought now be named Manospondylus gigas, but the former name seems to have stuck, albeit with significant justification.
Fossil skin impressions from a Tyrannosaurus rex from Montana show patches of mosaic scales.
A study published in Nature reveals that Tyrannosaurus's Chinese relative Dilong paradoxus was feathered - hinting that Tyrannosaurus rex may have been at least partially feathered too.

Dilong paradoxus:
Dilong paradoxus

A study by Karl Bates and Peter Falkingham suggests that Tyrannosaurus's bite force would have been the strongest of any animal that had ever lived.

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