New dinosaur species discovered that challenged T-Rex ancestors

When it comes to dinosaurs, most people think of the Tyrannosaurs Rex as being the king of all meat eating dinosaurs. A new dinosaur species has been discovered in Utah that was a competing species to the family of the T-Rex. The fossilized remains of the dinosaur was found in central Utah.

The dinosaur is called the Siats meekerorum and was a member of the Allosauroid family. Scientists say that the dinosaur would have weighed about 3 tons and was about 30-feet long. The dino would have roamed an area that is now the intermountain West of the US about 98 million years ago.

The scientists believe that the Siats meekerorum competed against the tyrannosauroid mega-family before fading away. The extinction of the Siats dino would have opened the niche allowing the T-Rex to reign.

Researchers say that the new genus and species of dinosaur helps fill in a 70 million year gap in dinosaur history during the late Cretaceous period. During the time this new dinosaur roamed, the ancestors to the T-Rex were small, believed to be the size of a Great Dane, before growing into the massive dino we know as the T-Rex.

Paleontologist and coauthor Peter J. Makovicky, associate curator of dinosaurs at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History said:

We know that the tyrannosaurs were the dominant predators for the last 15-20 million years of the Cretaceous, and prior to that, we know that the precursors to Tyrannosaurus rex were much smaller animals.

So just when they went from being mid-sized to very large dominant apex predators is unknown, and why they shifted their ecological role is also something we haven't had a lot of clarity on.