The T. rex population may have been smaller than scientists previously estimated, a new study says. T. Rex or Tyrannosaurus Rex to be more precise, was believed to have been king of dinosaurs once upon a time. Aside from being the driving force behind one of the ’90s most beloved disaster movies, scientists previously estimated up to 2. 5 billion T. rex roamed the Earth.
However, this new study says that number was significantly lower, with only around 1. 7 billion believed to have existed throughout our planet’s history. The new study making these claims was led by evolutionary ecologist Eva Griebeler, who works with the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany.
According to Griebeler and her team, the new model is based on information they believe the original researchers who estimated the T. rex population reaching 2. 5 billion didn’t factor in. This new information, they say, resulted in a much lower number of T. rex walking the Earth.
The study was designed to build upon the original team’s work, Charles Marshall, a paleontologist working with the University of California, Berkeley, told Live Science. Marshall was the lead author of the original study. His original team relied upon a complicated model that took into account factors such as average body mass and population density. It also considered geographic range, the number of eggs produced, among other things.
However, Griebeler says that some of the data imputed into the model were disagreeable, believing that Marshall’s team overestimated the survival rates of the T. rex population, as well as their egg-laying capabilities.
All this information is crucial, as it directly impacts the way researchers calculate the size of the population. However, Griebeler believes the survival rates and egg-laying capabilities would have been more akin to that of modern birds and reptiles.
When that data was input, it brought the estimated T. rex population from 2. 5 billion to 1. 7 billion overall. This number is the maximum possible T. Rex population that could have roamed around the globe. Researchers note that the original study was motivated by curiosity and was the first estimate of how many dinosaur kings roamed Earth. The second study, however, refined the findings.
If the estimate is to be believed, researchers say we’ve found less than one percent of the remains of all the T. rex population that once roamed our world. That’s a crazy number to think about, especially if claims that the T. rex was three different species are proven true.
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