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Venezuela's Tachiraptor May Have Set the Stage for T. Rex

 / Updated  / Source: Reuters
Tachiraptor is thought to be an ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex.
Tachiraptor is thought to be an ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex.Maurilio Oliveira

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CARACAS, Venezuela — Scientists say they've discovered the remains of a carnivorous dinosaur in western Venezuela. The roughly 5-foot-long (1.5-meter-long) species is thought to have lived 200 million years ago and had a "unique suite of features of its tibial articulations," according to a study published by Royal Society Open Science. The remains of a hip and tibia bone belonging to a Tachiraptor admirabilis were uncovered after 20 years of investigation.

Scientists concluded that the species may have lived in the early Jurassic period and could have been the ancestor of the menacing Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur. They're hopeful that further excavations in the formation made up of volcanic rocks may yield more fossil troves.

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