Nov. 24 (UPI) — There’s more than one way to get really big — for theropod dinosaurs, anyways.
While Tyrannosaurus rex, one of the largest carnivores to walk the Earth, had massive teenage growth spurts to thank for its awesome size, new research suggests other theropod dinosaurs, some nearly as big as T. rex, grow more steadily.
From nose to tail, the biggest T. rex dinosaurs stretched some 42 feet. The Jurassic meat-eaters weighed more than 16,000 pounds. Fossils suggest some of its closest relatives grew nearly as large.
Scientists knew T. rex wasn’t alone in its ability to reach gargantuan proportions, but researchers were less sure about how other theropods managed to get so big.
“We wanted to look at a wide swath of different theropods, two-legged, carnivorous dinosaurs, in order to understand broader patterns of growth and evolution in the group,” study author Tom Cullen said