Science is all about refinement. Take Pluto, for example: First a planet, then a dwarf planet, then avenged with a new ninth planet... then potentially one of, like, 150 planets in our solar system? That last suggestion still confuses us, to be honest. Oh, and there’s now a fifth ocean here on Earth, too, if you weren’t aware.
Then there’s the Tyrannosaurus Rex—easily the most recognizable and fearsome dinosaur of all time, at least until everyone found out they sprouted dinky little feathers and were super picky eaters when they weren’t toting around babies in their maws. They’re played out, is what we’re saying, which is probably why a few scientists’ new research paper argues that there wasn’t just one T-rex species stomping around primordial Earth, but three species, each with their own revitalizing spinoff franchise potentials!
As the New York Times recently reported, a group including independent paleontologist and paleoartist, Gregory Paul (no relation to the author), contends that the Tyrannosaurus genus also included two other species alongside Rex, dubbed the admittedly badass Imperator (Emperor) and Regina (Queen).
“This paper is likely to rock the paleo community, and the public that is so used to good old T. rex,” Gregory Paul told the NYT in a tone we can’t imagine as anything other than “pretty goddamn smug.”
Of course, simply writing a fancy paper on the theory does not make it a fact. It seems that the majority of the paleontological community thinks this is as spurious as a frill-necked, venom-spitting Dilophosaurus. One scientist is quoted as describing Paul’s evidence as “vanishingly weak,” while another ended up removing their name from the paper prior to its publication.
It’s pretty unlikely that museums, researchers, and the wider public will end up adopting this tri-species stance (“I’m aware that there could be a lot of people who aren’t going to be happy about this. And my response to them is: Publish a refutation,” Paul told the NYT with, again, presumably major smugness), but we’re sure that won’t matter to the producers of whatever Jurassic Park revival will inevitably come our way in the next few years following the Jurassic World trilogy conclusion in June.
Get ready for some CGI Tyrannosaurus Imperators and Reginas come 2027 or so, is what we’re saying.
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