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This March 4, 2016 photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution shows Hans Sues, Chair, Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution holding a cast (right hand) of a Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth for comparison with an actual tooth of the new tyrannosaur Timurlengia euotica, catalog number 538157, from the Late Cretaceous Period that was found in the Kyzylkum Desert, Uzbekistan. A newly discovered cousin of the T. rex may explain how the legendary dinosaur leapt in size to become undisputed king of the food chain, scientists said March 14, 2016. Until now, researchers have had little evidence of how the iconic predator became one of the largest carnivores to ever roam the Earth before the dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago. / AFP PHOTO / Smithsonian Institution / James Di Loreto / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE / JAMES DILORENTO" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS == NO ARCHIVE JAMES DI LORETO/AFP/Getty Images
Hans Sues, Chair of the Department of Paleobiology of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, holding a cast (right hand) of a Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth for comparison with an actual tooth of the new tyrannosaur Timurlengia euotica that was found in the Kyzylkum Desert, Uzbekistan, in a photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution on March 4, 2016. James Di Loreto—AFP/Getty Images

New Fossils Offer Clues Into Life of T-Rex Ancestor

Mar 14, 2016

Scientists have discovered clues to a new dinosaur that reveals new details about the Tyrannosaurus Rex we've grown to appreciate (and fear).

It seems the Tyrannosaurus-Rex wasn't always the towering, menacing creature with a massive head and razor-sharp teeth that we're familiar with. Fossils discovered in Uzbekistan by Smithsonian paleontologists show that there was a smaller, more slender dinosaur in the tyrannosaurus family called the Timurlengia euotica.

The small dinosaur is believed to have lived around 20 million years before the Tyrannosaurus Rex—though "small" is relative; according to a Smithsonian Magazine report on the findings the dinosaur was about the size of a horse.

The early ancestors of the Tyrannosaurus Rex were much smaller in size—though just as sharp in smarts with their keen olfactory and visual abilities.

Read more at Smithsonian Magazine

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