T. Rex Keeps Its Crown
Earlier this year, a team of researchers asked a question: What if Tyrannosaurus Rex wasn't just one dinosaur? The hypothesis stated that T. rex was actually three separate species: Tyrannosaurus imperator, regina, and rex. The similarities between the three were close enough for paleontologists to conflate into one– but how does this theory stack up to the research?
Conflation of species isn't such a far fetched idea. There are plenty of living species that are similar enough to sometimes get combined and the difficulty of defining individual breeds only gets harder when working with fossil material. As we learn more about these prehistoric creatures, it's always possible our understanding of them will change (looking at you, feathers!) It seemed like it was possible T. rex in particular had some large variations in femur strength and teeth number, enough that a serious look was required.
However, not everyone was convinced that the species should have been split. Another team of paleontologists took a look at the data and compared it with measurements of modern birds. Their results? The variation in sizing on T. rex fossils was well within the acceptable amount for a single species. That means the only Tyrannosaur in the Cretaceous North America was the Rex!