Tyrannosaurus rex, known as the “tyrant lizard”, has eventually confirmed its place on the vertebrate (backboned animal) family tree, findings from a new study show based on a fossil found in 2003.
Even though fossils mostly contain preserved hard tissues, like bones or shells, this one contained some of the dinosaur’s soft tissues, such as collagen and blood vessels.
Scientists compared these proteins with proteins from 21 modern-day vertebrates, including chickens, ostriches and elephants.
The proteins from T-rex, the study found, were most similar to those of birds.
T-rex, grouped with birds such as ostrich and chicken better than any other organism studied.