First tyrannosaur rex bone discovered in southern hemisphere

16:33, March 26, 2010      

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A boy observes the model of Tyrannosaurus. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

Tyrannosaurus rex might once be the resident of the southern hemisphere, according to a latest paleontological study released Thursday in the journal Science.

The sensational discovery broke the view that Tyrannosaurus rex only lived at the areas of the north of the Equator.

Researchers found a hip bone belonging to a Tyrannosaurus rex ancestor in Dinosaur Cove in Victoria, Australia, which sheds new light on tyrannosaurs' evolutionary lineage.

"This is an exciting discovery because tyrannosaur fossils had only ever been found in the northern hemisphere before and some scientists thought tyrannosaurs never made it down south," said Roger Benson, from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge, who identified the find.

"The bone is unambiguously identifiable as a tyrannosaur because these dinosaurs have very distinctive hip bones," Benson said.

"Although we only have one bone, it shows that 110 million years ago small tyrannosaurs like ours might have been found worldwide. This find has major significance for our knowledge of how this group of dinosaurs evolved." he added.

"This find shows that tyrannosauroids were able to reach these areas early in their evolutionary history and also hints at the possibility that others remain to be discovered in Africa, South America and India," said Paul Barrett, paleontologist at London's Natural History Museum.

The 30 centimeter-long pubis bone looks like a rod with two expanded ends, one of which is flattened and connects to the hip.

Source: Agencies

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