New research shows that horse-sized, T-Rex-like dinosaurs roamed southern Idaho 100 million years ago. This discovery shows Idaho was home to more types of dinosaurs than previously thought.
Paleontologist L.J. Krumenacker has been digging up dinosaurs in Idaho for more than a decade. But in the past, scientists have mostly found small burrowing dinosaurs.
Working with a team of Montana State University paleontologists, Krumenacker found the teeth and small bones of three types of theropods, the family of animals that includes Tyrannosaurus Rex.
He plans to keep hunting for more fossils near the Wyoming border.
“I would love to see some skeletons of this dog-sized tyrannosauroid we have and this larger, maybe horse-sized one plus, the giant egg-layer, it would be awesome to see that thing, but we’ll just have to keep looking and see what else we can find out,” says Krumenacker.
He says the find is important for a couple of reasons.
“There's so very little known about Idaho dinosaurs and for paleontology in general. At least in North America this is important because Idaho dinosaurs come from a time when there is very little known about dinosaurs in general in North America, so we’re filling in a little bit of that gap in knowledge.”
Krumenacker found the teeth of little T-Rex-type dinosaurs, one the size of a horse, and one the size of a golden retriever. They also found the eggs of oviraptorosaurs, the largest dinosaurs found in Idaho so far.
The work on the Idaho dinosaurs was published earlier this month in Historical Biology: An International Journal of Paleobiology.
When Krumenacker's research is done, the fossils will end up at the Idaho Museum of Natural History in Pocatello.
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