Groundbreaking Discovery: New Dinosaur Species Discovered in New Mexico Alters North America’s Dinosaur Timeline

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A new dinosaur species has been discovered in New Mexico, significantly altering our understanding of the timeline for the existence of dinosaurs in North America. The finding is the result of decades of research.

Dr. Anthony Fiorillo, executive director of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, described the discovery as a long-awaited breakthrough. The fossil, which was found in southwestern New Mexico, is a fragment of the skull belonging to a previously unknown species of Tyrannosaurus rex.

Sebastian Dolman, the lead author of the project, expressed his excitement about the confirmation of a new species and the opportunity it presents for collaboration among researchers. After years of study, a group of scientists revealed their findings regarding the fossil on Thursday.

Dr. Spencer Lucus, a co-author of the project, explained that the fossil was originally discovered by members of the public in 1983, rather than by professional paleontologists. Lucus noted that the fossil was found by boaters on Elephant Butte reservoir in Las Cruces. Since then, volcanic ash beds in the surrounding rocks have provided numerical ages that indicate the fossil is approximately 72 to 73 million years old.

The newly identified species, named Tyrannosaurus mcraeensis, predates any other known T. rex specimen by approximately five million years, making it an older relative of the well-known Tyrannosaurus rex. While there are minor differences in the jaw bones, scientists emphasized the significance of the discovery for the state of New Mexico.

An artist’s rendering portrays the dinosaur as standing 40 feet tall and measuring 12 feet in length. Although the discrepancies between the two species are subtle, they warrant recognition and establish New Mexico as a crucial site for dinosaur research.

Dr. Fiorillo highlighted the importance of scientific progress and the need to continually challenge existing knowledge with new discoveries. The fossil is currently on display at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science for the public to view.

In conclusion, the recent discovery of a new dinosaur species in New Mexico has significantly impacted our understanding of the presence of dinosaurs in North America. The fossil, confirmed as part of a previously unknown species of Tyrannosaurus rex, is estimated to be 72 to 73 million years old, predating any other T. rex specimen by approximately five million years. This finding underscores the ongoing evolution of scientific knowledge and solidifies New Mexico’s position as a vital location for dinosaur research.