New study sheds light on Tyrannosaurus Rex lifespan: these fearsome beasts lived for about 30 years

A new study has found that the average lifespan of Tyrannosaurus Rex was 30 years, that about 20,000 of them lived at one time and that about 2.5 Billions of them have ever lived.

The study, published in the journal Science on April 21, 2021, is broadly consistent with previous research.

What is new, however, is that lead author Charles Marshall concluded that this means that approximately 2.5 billion Tyrannosaurus rexes lived in the 2.5 million years that the dinosaur existed.

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Until now, scientists have not been able to calculate population numbers for long-extinct animals. Some famous paleontologists even considered such estimates impossible.

Energy requirements of Tyrannosaurus rex

The study is based on data relating body mass in live animals to population density.

Ecological differences lead to large variations in population densities for animals with the same physiology and ecological niche.

For example, jaguars and hyenas are about the same size.

Nevertheless, hyenas are found in their habitat at a density 50 times higher than jaguars.

As part of the calculations, Marshall chose to treat T. rex as a predator, cutting energy needs halfway Way between that of a lion and a Komodo dragon, the largest lizard on earth.

The lifespan of Tyrannosaurus Rex influenced how and what they ate

In their research, Marshall and his team found ignored younger T. rexes.

This is because they are underrepresented in the fossil record and may have lived separately from adults and pursued other prey.

As a T. rex matured, its jaws became about 10x stronger, allowing the dinosaur to break bones.

This suggests that juveniles and adults ate different prey and in that sense were almost different species.

This possibility is consistent with recent research suggesting that the Absence of medium-sized predators alongside the massive predatory T. rex during the Late Cretaceous because juvenile T. rex filled this ecological niche.

What was a typical lifespan of a Tyrannosaurus Rex? About 30 years

The average age of a T. rex at maturity was 15.5 years, and its maximum lifespan was probably almost 30 years, Marshall and his team estimated.

Its average adult body mass was about 5,200 kilograms, with some Tyrannosaurus Rex weighing up to 7,000 kilograms.

From these estimates, they calculated that each generation lasted about 19 years , and that the average population density was about one dinosaur per 100 square kilometers.

If you then estimate that the total geographic range of T. rex is about 2.3 million square kilometers and that the species survived about 2.5 million years, they calculated a population size of 20,000.

Over the approximately 127,000 generations that the species has existed, that equates to a total of about 2.5 billion individuals.

It could have been as little as 140 million or even 42 billion

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Marshall points out that these new numbers are by no means rock solid.

Although the population of Tyrannosaurus rexes was most likely 20,000 adults at any given time, the study’s 95% confidence interval means that the total number of T. rexes that existed during the species’ lifetime was somewhere between Could be 140 million to 42 billion.

He expects colleagues to argue with many, if not most, of the numbers.

Nevertheless, he believes his computational framework for estimating extinct populations will remain and will be useful for estimating populations of other fossilized creatures.

The framework the researchers considered provided have computer code, also lays the basis for estimating how many species paleontologists may have missed when digging for fossils, he said.

“With these numbers, we can begin to estimate how many short-lived, geographically specialized Species we may be missing from the fossil record,” he said.

“This could be a way to start quantifying what we don’t know.”

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Study: “Absolute Abundance and Conservation Rate of Tyrannosaurus rex”Authors: CRMarshall, D.V. Latorre, C.J. Wilson, TM Frank, KM. Magoulick, J.B. Zimmt, A.W. PoustPublished in: SciencePublished date: April 15, 2021Image: by Marcin Polak, License: CC BY 2.0

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