Dinosaur discoveries: What is a ‘Monkeydactyl’ and how many T-Rexes were on the planet?


SALT LAKE CITY (NewsNation Now) — The past few weeks, scientists have gotten a better picture of how one of the most famous dinosaurs lived and even discovered brand-new types of the ancient creatures.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex now is believed to have been a pack animal instead of the lone hunter they’re often portrayed as.

Randy Irmis, Chief Curator of paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Utah and a University of Utah professor, said discoveries made at multiple sites showed the “charismatic dinosaur” lived in packs rather than hunting alone.

“And the most recent discovery was a site in southern Utah and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument that had many different individuals of a Tyrannosaur called ‘Teratophoneus,'” said Irmis.

Courtesy: Bureau of Land Management Utah

Scientists have also calculated that approximately 2.5 billion T-Rexes lived on Earth over the species’ existence.

When it comes to discovering new species, Irmis said, “South America has been a really fertile place.”

Just recently an unknown plant-eating dinosaur was unearthed in Chile.

“And this giant, long neck, sauropod dinosaur is a new species that was just found in the Atacama Desert. And it’s really exciting because we’re learning a lot more about the dinosaurs in that area of South America,” said Irmis.

The recent discoveries also extended to the flying reptile variety with the revelation of a “Monkeydactyl.”

Courtesy Chuang Zhao via University of Birmingham

“During the time of dinosaurs, and one of the flying animals is an animal called the Pterosaur or Pterodactyl, and they’re not quite dinosaurs. They’re a different type of reptile,” said Irmis. “But this one has an opposable thumb, which you can imagine if you fly a lot. Being able to grasp with your wings could be really helpful.”

Irmis said they’re not exactly like the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz since they appeared a bit moe reptile like.

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