T. Rex Kept on Growing

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T. rex kept on growing, according to a report in Nature News 1 November 2013. Palaeontologist Jack Horner of the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana, has studied the microscopic layers of fossilised bones of dinosaurs in the museum’s collection to see which of them had finished growing. Growing bone contains numerous canals for blood vessels and holes for bone forming cells, named osteocytes, whilst bone that has ceased growing has an outer layer of closely packed bone layers with few blood vessels and osteocytes. Therefore, it is possible to tell if bones were still growing when an animal died. As expected, all fossils labelled as juveniles had growing bones, but so did most of the adults, including a 10 metre long Allosaurus and the museum’s six T. rex specimens. Horner commented: “I think all the T. rex specimens found so far were still growing when they died”. He also commented about the Allosaurus: “It’s a big one, and it was undeniably still growing — ripping along, really — when it died”. Horner suggests that the still growing adults were mostly growing in bulk, rather than getting taller.

Kevin Padian, a palaeontologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the study, commented: “For years we’ve been finding robust and gracile forms of skeletons that are otherwise very similar. Some have suggested the robust ones were males and the gracile ones were females. Others have argued they were different species. Now it looks like they were actually just different ages”.

Nature News

Editorial Comment: We have been saying this for years, especially since many present day reptiles, fishes, etc. we have observed, are capable of growing all their lives. It is good to have our position strengthened by actual evidence from fossil bones. This new evidence helps explain how dinosaurs got to be so large. Genesis tells us that people had very long lifespans prior to Noah’s flood, so it is possible dinosaurs had equally long lifespans. We are also told that the world started out “very good” and the fossil evidence indicates the world used to be one of abundant lush vegetation. Therefore, if dinosaurs were capable of growing all their lives, and lived in good conditions they would get to be very large, simply by living for a long time. (Ref. osteology, histology, growth)

Evidence News, No. 23/13, 20 November 2013