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A team of researchers have discovered new information about the Tyrannosaurus Rex aging process after determining that a pair of skeletons were adolescent T-rex, not a different species altogether (AFP Photo/WIN MCNAMEE)

一個研究團隊在確定了兩具恐龍骨架屬于幼年霸王龍,而不是新的物種之后,又有了關于霸王龍生長的新發現。

Washington (AFP) - For three decades, paleontologists the world over have been split over a provocative finding: did a dwarf species of Tyrannosaurus rex really once exist?

三十年來,世界各地的古生物學家們對一個令人興奮的發現產生了分歧:矮暴龍真的曾經存在過嗎?



- Answers in the bones -

-答案在骨頭里-

In a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, researchers led by Holly Woodward of Oklahoma State University performed a microscopic analysis on samples from the interior of Jane''s tibia and femur bones, as well as from a less complete set of bones from an animal dubbed Petey.

發表在周三的《科學進展》雜志上的一項研究表示,由俄克拉荷馬州立大學霍利·伍德沃德帶領的研究人員通過顯微鏡分析了“簡”的脛骨和股骨樣本,以及一組從一只名叫“皮蒂”的動物取下來的不太完整的骨頭。

This technique, known as paleohistology, confirmed that the two were immature individuals -- not adults, the scientists said.

科學家們認為,這項被稱為“古組織學”的技術證實了這兩組樣本屬于幼年個體,而不是成年的。

By extension, the study''s authors said, the existence of the Nanotyrannus seems very unlikely.

另外,參與研究的人員表示,矮暴龍似乎不太可能存在。

"The really cool thing about fossil bones is that a whole bone fossilizes even down to the microscopic size," Woodward told AFP.

伍德沃德對法新社說:“關于骨頭化石,真正有趣的是可以從微觀角度分析整塊骨頭?!?br />
"We can infer growth rate, age (and) maturity level."

“我們可以推測出該個體生長速度、年齡和成熟程度?!?br />
The researchers took extremely fine slices from the bone samples -- so thin that light could pass through them -- and then studied them under powerful microscopes.

研究人員從骨頭樣本中提取極薄的骨頭切片——薄到光可以透過它們——然后在性能強大的顯微鏡下研究這些切片。

The size of the blood vessel openings revealed that the two dinosaurs were still in a phase of rapid growth at the time of death. Had they been adults, this vascularization would have been less prominent.

血管切口的大小表明,這兩只恐龍在死亡時仍處于快速生長的階段。如果它們是成年個體,則這種血管生成的現象就不會那么明顯。



That is partly due to the obsession of collectors and the public with finding and displaying the most enormous T-rex skeletons possible -- unearthed sometimes to the detriment of smaller specimens.

這在一定程度上是由于收藏者和公眾癡迷于尋找和展示盡可能巨大的霸王龍骨架——有時這不利于幼年霸王龍骨架的挖掘。

Unfortunately, Woodward said, only five to seven fossils of young T-rex dinosaurs are known to exist in the world, and some of those are in private collections not accessible to researchers.

伍德沃德說:‘不幸的是,目前世界上已知的幼年霸王龍化石只有五到七塊,并且其中一些屬于私人收藏,研究人員無法對其進行分析?!?br />