When you hear the name Tyrannosaurus Rex, your mind probably draws up the portrait of a giant, sharp-toothed dinosaur, easily one of the most fearsome beasts to ever stalk the Earth. Now, there’s no arguing that point. T-Rex was one huge mofo, with jaws so powerful — 7,800 pounds of force, to be precise — that the bones of their victims literally exploded between their teeth. That’s one superpowered creature. Now, you can make fun of the creature’s tiny arms all you want, or quote outdated theories about them merely being scavengers, but the truth is, if one of these dinos appeared in your backyard, you’d be running to the basement, real quick.
That said, even the grizzliest, angriest dude you know used to be an adorable little toddler, and the Tyrannosaurus was no exception. In fact, a 2019 exhibit shown at the American Museum of Natural History (or AMNH), in New York City, proves that a junior T-Rex might’ve been the cutest little cotton ball to ever make cooing noises.
Heeeere's the baby!
Meet Baby T-Rex, who clearly lies somewhere between Baby Groot and Baby Yoda on the cuteness spectrum.
Surprised by all those feathers? You shouldn’t be. In recent years, scientists have been finding out that all kinds of dinosaurs were covered with beautiful feathers (seriously, do you know what Velociraptors really looked like?) and the Tyrannosaurus Rex was no exception: while some artist depictions of these predators looking like giant, fluffy bald eagles are a bit exaggerated, the American Museum of Natural History does report that the adult dinosaurs probably had some sparse degree of feathering over their scales, similar to the hair you see on an elephant. The little young-uns, on the other hand, were like furry little Tribbles, their tiny bodies coated in soft downy feathers. All the better to cuddle with!
According to Live Science, the recreation above comes from the American Museum of Natural History’s 2019 exhibit, “T. rex: The Ultimate Predator,” which demonstrates many newer understandings of this iconic creature. The baby carnivores were about the size of a super lean turkey, and apparently gained about six pounds a day for 13 years (!). Growing pains, for real. Sadly, most of these cute critters didn’t outlive a year, due to harsh conditions of the time. The ones that did live on, of course, grew to become some of the biggest, scariest animals in Earth history … but hey, everybody’s gotta grow up someday, even if it makes their parents cry.
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