New Study Suggests a Smaller T. rex Population than Previously Believed
A recent study suggests that the population of the iconic Tyrannosaurus rex, or T. rex, may have been smaller than previously believed. Renowned as the king of the dinosaurs, the T. rex has captured the popular imagination, even inspiring a beloved disaster movie from the ’90s. Previous estimates posited that as many as 2.5 billion T. rex once roamed the Earth.
However, this new study reveals a significantly lower estimate, suggesting that approximately 1.7 billion T. rex individuals existed throughout the history of our planet. Evolutionary ecologist Eva Griebeler from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany led the research team responsible for these findings.
Griebeler and her team assert that their revised model incorporates additional information that was not considered by the original researchers who estimated the T. rex population at 2.5 billion. They argue that this newly incorporated information led to a substantial reduction in the estimated number of T. rex that once inhabited the Earth.
According to Charles Marshall, a paleontologist from the University of California, Berkeley, who was the lead author of the original study, the recent research was designed to expand on the findings of his team. He explained that their initial study employed a complex model that took into account factors such as average body mass, population density, geographic range, number of eggs, and other variables.
However, Griebeler, another researcher involved in the recent study, expressed reservations about some of the data inputted into the model. Griebeler believed that Marshall’s team had overestimated the survival rates of the T. rex population and their egg-laying capabilities.
The accuracy of these data points is crucial as they directly influence the researchers’ estimation of the overall T. rex population. Griebeler contended that the survival rates and egg-laying capabilities of T. rex would have been more comparable to those observed in modern birds and reptiles.
Upon incorporating the new data, the estimated population of T. rex was revised from 2.5 billion to 1.7 billion. It’s important to note that this number represents the maximum possible T. rex population that existed. The original study, driven by pure curiosity, was the first attempt to estimate the number of these dinosaur kings that roamed the Earth. The subsequent study aimed to refine and improve upon the initial findings.
If the revised estimate is accurate, researchers suggest that we have only discovered less than one percent of the total remains of the entire T. rex population that once inhabited our planet. This astounding figure becomes even more remarkable when considering claims suggesting that the T. rex might have encompassed three distinct species. The implications of these findings invite us to contemplate the vastness and diversity of the T. rex population that has yet to be unearthed.