Pocatello – Bones found in Bonneville County by a professor at Idaho State University belong to a relative of Tyrannosaurus Rex.
LJ Krumenacker, assistant professor of Earth sciences at ISU, has found a femur bone that he says is the oldest Cretaceous tyrannosaurus bone found in North America, according to a university press release.
“This fossil shows that a diverse group of dinosaurs existed in western North America about 100 million years ago, before these types of animals became the dominant predators towards the end of the age of dinosaurs,” Krumenacker says in the statement.
Kromenker, who is also curator at the Idaho Museum of Natural History, published an article in Journal of Paleontology Regarding the discovery.
The discovery was made in the Caribou Mountains.
“Southeastern Idaho has a lot of potential for further discoveries of ancient life from the age of the dinosaurs and other times in history,” Krumenacker says in the statement. “We’ve found a lot of fossil fragments that show there was a great diversity of ancient dinosaurs and other animals from Idaho to discover and learn more about.”
Based on the size of the partial femur bone discovered by Kromenker, the animal is estimated to weigh about 100 pounds. It is believed to be related to a similar tyrannosaur whose remains were found in Utah.
The fossil is currently in North Carolina under study. But her permanent home will be at the Idaho Museum of Natural History in Pocatello. It will be on display at the 2023 exhibit, “Idaho Dinosaurs.”
According to the statement, the museum was commissioned to rebuild the dinosaur for the exhibition.
“This new tyrannosaurus is a reminder that scientific discovery continues,” curator Brandon Peacock said in the statement. “We are excited to present the new specimen to the public not only as a fascinating fossil but also as a source of data for future science in the history of life.”