Miniature relative of T. rex identified by paleontologists in New Mexico

An artistic rendering showcases the short stature of Suskityrannus hazelae a relative of T. rex. Artwork by Andrey Atuchin

An artistic rendering showcases the short stature of Suskityrannus hazelae a relative of T. rex. Artwork by Andrey Atuchin

Unlike its distant cousin, the new species, Suskityrannus hazelae, stood just three feet tall and stretched nine feet from head to tip of the tail.

Most of the scientists who work on this are professors and scientists in and around the USA. It would have weighed 45 to 90 pounds whereas a fully grown Tyrannosaurus Rex is 9000 kilograms. Though less powerful, the small predator would have been rather quick.

Virginia Tech's Sterling Nesbitt, the lead author on the paper, found a number of the key bones as a 16-year-old high school student in 1998, while participating on a dig expedition in New Mexico's Zuni Basin.

Huge ancient lizards from the family of Tyrannosauridae, including T. rex that lived from 80 to 66 million years ago.

Scientists have identified an early cousin of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, a pipsqueak that only reached the 3-foot height of a toddler.

"Suskityrannus gives us a glimpse into the evolution of tyrannosaurs just before they take over the planet", Nesbitt said in a press release.

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"I was very excited, but also a little bit nervous because I had to pick up every fragment", said Nesbitt.

Nesbitt's find marked the second specimen.

When Nesbitt saw the skeleton in the ground he thought he found something special, but he didn't know how unique it was. This newly discovered species links the small tyrannosauroids from the Early Cretaceous of North America and China with much larger ones that survived until the end of the Cretaceous-the final days of the non-avian dinosaurs.

Even today, the evolutionary history of the T. rex is not well understood, largely because extreme sea level rises during the Late Cretaceous destroyed fossils that had formed during the previous era, as Discover's Eric Betz explains. Skeletal parts of two individuals of the new species had already been more than 20 years ago in the Zuni basin in the US state of New Mexico found, as it is said in a communication to the Virginia Tech University.

In another project, paleontologists recently discovered a new spike-armored dinosaur in Texas.

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