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New dinosaur is discovered in southern Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) Big news for the Natural History Museum of Utah and paleontology.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah)- Big news for the Natural History Museum of Utah and paleontology.A new species of dinosaur has been discovered right here in Utah.
The new species was unveiled Tuesday, but the actual fossils were found in 2009 by a BLM employee. The bones have since been studied, but couldn't be announced until being published in the Scientific Literature, that publication came out Tuesdsay.

The new dinosaur is called the Lythronax argestes and is the closest relative to the Tyrannosaurus rex.

"One of the biggest baddest meat eating dinosaurs of its time,” said Randal Irmis, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum of Utah at the University of Utah.

Irmis says the discovery was made in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Southern Utah. He says the Lythronax is a special dinosaur not only because it’s a new species but because of what it tells paleontologist about Utah’s eco systems 80 million years ago.

"Because it’s almost 15 million years older than the tyrannosaurus rex that suggests to us that there is a whole diversity of other Tyrannosaurus out there waiting to be found that we don't even know about," said Irmis.

Weighing in at 2.5 tons and 25 feet tall, the Lythronax is smaller than the 3 ton 40 foot T-Rex. Making the discovery in 2009, Scott Richardson, a paleontological technician and former BLM employee says he couldn't believe what he found.

"The first thing I probably saw was part of the tibia sticking out of the ground part of the leg bone then I looked behind me and realized i walked through some foot bone and there was some ribs laying around and some other skull piece laying around an I'm going oh boy. ''

Richardson says its findings like this that makes his job so exciting

“I have found gold, its more exciting than finding gold."

The Lythronax is now on display at the natural history Museum of Utah.


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