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An Analysis of Growth and Aging in a Tyrannosaurus rex through Histology and Synchrotron Micro-Tomography
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
En analys av tillväxt och åldrande i en  Tyrannosaurus rex genom histologi  och synchrotron micro-tomography (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Size comparisons, skeletochronological, and palaeohistological studies have been major contributors in the past decades to expand our knowledge on how dinosaurs, including Tyrannosaurus rex, lived and grew. Historically, size comparisons have been used to establish a relative order of age, and thin sections have been used to study the palaeohistology and skeletochronology, as well as establish growth curves, to construct more quantifiable age determinants. Whenever a new specimen is found or described, it should be placed in context by comparing it to the other known specimens. This study aims to do that for the Naturalis T. rex specimen, RGM 792.000. Comparing the femoral length and circumference data places RGM 792.000 3rd to 6th in size, depending on the literature cited, and so it can be concluded that this T. rex is a, younger, adult. The palaeohistological side of this study aims to reconstruct a more exact age at the time of death as well as a growth curve, using not only thin sections, but also synchrotron radiation computed microtomography. By counting the lines of arrested growth through both methods it can be established that RGM 792.000 was at least 17 years old at the time of death. Additionally, this study demonstrates that the use of synchrotron scans is beneficial to use as a complementary method when studying the skeletochronology and palaeohistology in dinosaurs. 

Abstract [sv]

Hur gammal kunde Tyrannosaurus rex bli? Trots sin ikoniska status finns det mycket vi fortfarande inte vet om T. rex men med varje ny upptäckt kommer en ökad förståelse och Naturalis-provet, också kallat RGM 792.000 eller Trix, är inte ett undantag. Genom att jämföra storleken på olika individer, kan vi säga något om deras relativa ålder och tack vare det vet vi att Trix var en ung vuxen. Men för att ta reda på exakt hur gammal en individ av T. rex var, har forskare hittills varit tvugna att göra tvär- och tunnsnitt i ben för att räkna de tillväxtringar som ofta bevaras trots fossilisering. Eftersom dessa metoder delvis förstör fossilen har nya skanningtekniker, såsom synkrotron-mikrotomografi, börjat tillämpats. I denna studie har både tunnsnitt samt synkrotronskanningar analyserats och tillsammans visar de på att Trix var minst 17 år gammal när den dog. De båda metoderna kompletterar varandra och kan med fördel användas tillsammans för att göra en robust åldersbestämning. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 57
Series
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 448
Keywords [en]
Tyrannosaurus rex, palaeohistology, skeletochronology, synchrotron micro-tomography
Keywords [sv]
Tyrannosaurus rex, palaeohistologie, skeletochronologie, synchrotron mikro-tomographie
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-375895OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-375895DiVA, id: diva2:1284689
External cooperation
Naturalis Biodiversity Center; European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
Educational program
Master Programme in Earth Science
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-02-01 Created: 2019-02-01 Last updated: 2024-02-01Bibliographically approved

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