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New idea shakes up dinosaur family tree for T. Rex and pals

Jamaica Gleaner / WASHINGTON (AP):

Tyrannosaurus Rex and his buddies could be on the move, as a new study proposes a massive shake-up of the dinosaur family tree.

Scientists, who took a deeper look at dinosaur fossils, suggest a different evolutionary history for dinosaurs. Their research moves the theropods such as T. Rex to a new branch of the family tree and hints at an earlier and more northern origin for dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs have long been split into two groups according to hip shape. One group has bird-like hips, like the stegosaurus. The other has reptile-like hips, like the brontosaurus. Theropods, which include T. Rex, were considered an offshoot of the brontosaurus group. The new study moves them closer to the stegosaurus branch.

The study is in yesterday’s journal Nature .

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