Paleontologists have reported the discovery of what to date is the world's biggest and oldest Tyrannosaurus rex. They called the prehistoric beast "Scotty" after a bottle of celebratory scotch consumed the night it was discovered.
High school teacher Robert Gebhardt found Scotty in August 1991 during an expedition with paleontologists. It, however, took years to remove the hard sandstones that encased its skeletons.
It is only after the 65 percent complete specimen was fully assembled that researchers were finally able to study the dinosaur.
Measuring 13 yards long, Scotty is bigger than all other predatory dinosaurs. Its leg bones suggest it weighed more than 19,400 pounds when it walked in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan 66 million years ago.
"Multiple measurements (including those of the skull, hip, and limbs) show that RSM P2523.8 was a robust individual with an estimated body mass exceeding all other known T. rex specimens and representatives of all other gigantic terrestrial theropods," researchers wrote in a study published in The Anatomical Record on March 21.
Study researcher Scott Persons, from University of Alberta in Canada described Scotty as the rex of rexes.
"There is considerable size variability among Tyrannosaurus. Some individuals were lankier than others and some were more robust." he said. "Scotty exemplifies the robust. Take careful measurements of its legs, hips, and even shoulder, and Scotty comes out a bit heftier than other T. rex specimens."
It isn't just the size that makes the dinosaur exceptional. Researchers said it is also the oldest known T-rex. The dinosaur is estimated to be in its early 30s when it died.
Persons explained this is relatively an unusually long life, and a violent one as suggested by scars on the skeletons that indicate of large injuries. The animal had broken ribs, a bite from what could be another T-rex on its tail, and an infected jaw.
In 2016, Scotty the T. rex became Saskatchewan's official fossil emblem after winning a popularity contest.
The dinosaur will be featured at an exhibit at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum scheduled in May.