Paleontologists uncover largest-ever T. rex fossil

Scotty, the largest known T. rex, racked up a litany of injuries during violent run-ins with other tyrannosaurs.

By Brooks Hays
The 66-million-year-old T. rex named Scotty is the largest T. rex ever found. Photo by Amanda Kelley
The 66-million-year-old T. rex named Scotty is the largest T. rex ever found. Photo by Amanda Kelley

March 25 (UPI) -- Paleontologists have discovered the remains of the largest known Tyrannosaurus rex in the world.

Found among Late Cretaceous deposits in Saskatchewan's Frenchman River Valley, the giant T. rex, nicknamed Scotty, is the the largest dinosaur fossil recovered from Canada.


"This is the rex of rexes," Scott Persons, paleontologist at the University of Alberta, said in a news release. "There is considerable size variability among Tyrannosaurus. Some individuals were lankier than others and some were more robust. Scotty exemplifies the robust. [He] comes out a bit heftier than other T. rex specimens."

Scotty was originally found in 1991. Between then and now, scientists have carefully excavated the T. rex's fossil remains. Paleontologists were only recently able to study the fossil remains and accurately estimate Scotty's record-setting size.

The length and circumference of Scotty's leg bones suggest the ferocious predator weighed upwards of 20,000 pounds. The 66-million-year-old T. rex stretched nearly 43 feet from head to tail.

In addition to being massive, Scotty was also experienced, with the battle scars to show for it.

"Scotty is the oldest T. rex known," Persons said. "By which I mean, it would have had the most candles on its last birthday cake. You can get an idea of how old a dinosaur is by cutting into its bones and studying its growth patterns. Scotty is all old growth."


Analysis of the ancient fossil revealed a variety of pathologies, including scarring left by significant injuries, likely the result of violent run-ins with other tyrannosaurs. Scientists shared their survey of Scotty's bones in the journal Anatomical Record.

In May, Scotty's bones will go on public display at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. But while visitors gape at the ferocious predator's monumental stature, Persons and his colleagues will be digging.

"I think there will always be bigger discoveries to be made," said Persons. "But as of right now, this particular Tyrannosaurus is the largest terrestrial predator known to science."

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