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1.7 Billion T-Rexes Roamed the Earth Before Going Extinct

1.7 Billion T-Rexes roamed the prehistoric Earth.
1.7 Billion T-Rexes roamed the prehistoric Earth. Credit: ScottRobertAnselmo / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Scientists have revised their calculations of the total number of Tyrannosaurus Rexes (T-Rexes) that ever lived on Earth. New research indicates that a whopping 1.7 billion T-Rexes roamed our planet throughout its history.

Back in April 2021, a study published in the journal Science estimated that somewhere between 68 and 65.5 million years ago, during the time when T-Rex ruled the Earth, there could have been as many as 2.5 billion of them.

However, a recent study published on April 18 of this year in the journal Palaeontology has questioned that number. The researchers behind this new study propose that the actual figure is more likely around 1.7 billion.

New study included updated information

According to Charles Marshall, a paleontologist from the University of California, Berkeley, and the lead author of the 2021 study, the new research is an improved and comprehensive study that builds upon the previous team’s work.

In an interview, Marshall explained that the original study utilized a complex model that considered various factors, including body mass, population density, geographic range, sexual maturity, egg-laying capacity, lifespan, survival rates, and generation time.

Eva Griebeler, the author of the study and an evolutionary ecologist from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany, explained that her new model took into account certain information about T-Rex that the original study overlooked. This led to the adjusted, lower number of T-Rex individuals.

She had reservations about some of the data used in the old model and believed Marshall’s team overestimated T-Rex survival rates, egg-laying capabilities, and the number of generations, which ultimately influenced the results.

Specifics of the new study

Griebeler conducted her own research, which suggested that these values were more similar to those observed in modern birds and reptiles.

When she incorporated these revised values into an updated model, it indicated that each T-Rex generation likely consisted of 19,000 individuals, and there were approximately 90,000 generations in total. As a result, the maximum number of T-Rex estimated to have existed is 1.7 billion.

The original study, driven by a sense of curiosity similar to pondering the number of stars in the sky, aimed to provide the first estimation of the T-Rex population on Earth, as stated by Marshall.

The researchers were content with any reasonable estimate they could produce. However, they are now pleased that a “more realistic” estimate has been achieved with the updated study.

Both studies, regardless of the specific number, pose an intriguing question: Where are all the T-Rex fossils? If Griebeler’s projections are accurate, it implies that we have only discovered the remains of an incredibly minute fraction, approximately 0.0000002%, of these magnificent dinosaurs.

Our knowledge of T-Rex is in a constant state of evolution. Over the past few years, a series of remarkable discoveries have reshaped our understanding of these ancient rulers of the past.

More research on the T-Rexes

In November 2022, a research team made an intriguing prediction. They proposed that the largest T-Rex ever to have roamed the Earth would have been a staggering 70% larger than the well-known T. Rex fossil named “Scotty.” This revelation provided a glimpse into the immense size that these creatures could reach.

Another captivating finding emerged in April 2021, when a separate group of researchers unveiled that the maximum speed of T-Rex would have likely been approximately 3 miles per hour (5 kilometers per hour).

Remarkably, this pace is comparable to that of a walking human. Such insights into their locomotion shed light on the behavior and capabilities of these majestic creatures.

Furthermore, other notable discoveries have hinted at intriguing aspects of T-Rex physiology. It is now suggested that these giant dinosaurs may have been warm-blooded, akin to modern birds.

Additionally, it is believed that T-Rex had a thin pair of lips that concealed their formidable teeth. These remarkable findings offer glimpses into the fascinating intricacies of T-Rex anatomy and behavior.

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