If you mention the word “dinosaur” to someone, the Tyrannosaurus Rex is likely to be the first thing that comes to mind. However, despite our long-standing fascination with dinosaurs, scientists are still mostly ignorant about their evolutionary background. However, a recent fossil found in the United States may provide significant information regarding the ancestry of the ancient predator.
Researchers revealed the discovery of a new species, Daspletosaurus wilsoni, in a paper that was published in the journal Paleontology and Evolutionary science. Many of the characteristics of older rock-age tyrannosaurs, such as a conspicuous set of horns surrounding the eye.
It also had several of the characteristics of later members of the genus, such as the T. rex, such as a lofty eye socket and enlarged air spaces in the skull. The researchers contend that D. wilsoni fills in the gap between older and younger tyrannosaurus species.
Numerous closely related species are representative of numerous dinosaur families that lived in North America during the Late Cretaceous epoch. They were once believed to have coexisted, offering proof of branching evolution. But as of late, new evidence from the discovery of fresh fossils suggests that many of these species may have lived at various times.
This appears to be related to the “anagenesis” process of evolution, in which one member of a species directly evolves into a descendant species, establishing an orderly “ladder” of evolutionary history.
Tyrannosaurs should be included in the growing list of dinosaurs for which anagenesis, or linear evolution, has been advocated, according to this new study on D. wilsoni. Cladogenesis, in a contrast to anagenesis, occurs when new species “branch out” into numerous closely related and thus comparable species. These several species are “cousins” in cladogenesis as opposed to ancestors or descendants.
Jack Wilson, a member of the museum staff, reportedly found the dinosaur in 2017, according to the Dickinson Museum Center. Wilson noticed a flat bone fragment sticking out of a cliff’s base. The centre portion of a tyrannosaur’s nostril was represented by this bone. To get to the bones, the researchers had to dig through more than eight metres of rock.
Due to the seemingly never-ending task of removing rock and soil before retrieving the fossil, the fossil was given the nickname “Sisyphus” after a figure from Greek mythology. Daspletosaurus wilsoni, the species’ scientific name, derives from Wilson and means “Wilson’s frightful reptile.”