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Researchers think dinosaur fossil may be rare young T. rex

Researchers think dinosaur fossil may be rare young T. rex

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Hell Creek Formation

John Scannella, left, and Sonya Scarff endured long days and sweltering heat during the summer of 2006 as they painstakingly removed dinosaur fossils from the Hell Creek Formation between Jordan and the Fort Peck Reservoir.

GREAT FALLS — University of Kansas researchers say they may have unearthed a rare fossil of a young Tyrannosaurus rex.

David Burnham of the university's Biodiversity Institute says the teeth suggest it's a T. rex, but there is still more work to be done before the species is confirmed.

The fossil could be that of a smaller species of another meat-eating dinosaur. Researchers are working to distinguish whether differences compared to the bones of other dinosaurs are due to growth or because they're from a different species.

Burnham says only a few young Tyrannosaurus rexes have been found, and the fossil found in Montana's Hell Creek Formation is a "fabulously complete" upper jaw, plus some skull, feet, hip and backbone fragments.

The Great Falls Tribune reports that Burnham plans to return to Montana to search for more of the dinosaur.

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