In news even sexier than a Pandora for p0rn, a new tyrannosaur species has been discovered in Utah. Lythronax argestes ("king of gore") lived some 10-12 million years before Tyrannosaurus Rex, and may have been the t-rex's "great uncle". My great uncle? No clue, he's been in prison my whole life.
But it would be a mistake to call Lythronax an ancestor of Tyrannosaurus. As study co-author and NHMU paleontology curator Randall Irmis commented at a press conference about the dinosaur this morning, Lythronax was more of a "great uncle" to Tyrannosaurus than an ancestor. Loewen put it another way - the ancestor of Tyrannosaurus is also the ancestor of Lythronax, meaning that these two predators represent close lineages that split from an even earlier common ancestor. This is why Lythrnoax is so strange. The 80 million year old dinosaur was among the first of the famous tyrannosaurid group, yet it looks very much like one of the very last of the tyrannosaurids. This suggests that are even more tyrannosaurs waiting to be found.
It's believed the Gore King was the largest land predator of its time. Although I'm still not sure why it's called the Gore King. It's probably just to make them sound tougher than they really were. I bet they were actually sweet, sensitive lovers. *travels back in time, returns* "You look like you've seen a ghost." Gore King is appropriate.
Hit the jump for a human size comparison, a shot of the skull, and two recreations of the head (one computer, one real-life).
Thanks to Mark David Leith from Townsville Australia, muraenidae, Gore King, Lythronax, jimmmy and laserfuzz, who are convinced dinosaurs will rule the world once again. God, that would great.