Nanotyrannus Fossils | Darwin and Wallace: A Nature & Fossil Store

Nanotyrannus Fossils


Genus:  Nanotyrannus ("Dwarf Tyrant”)

Age: Late Cretaceous Period, 67-66 million years ago

Location: Western North America 

            Nanotyrannus is a small and controversial contemporary to its cousin, Tyrannosaurus. Discovered in the Hell Creek Formation of Montana in 1942, it was originally believed to be a new species of Gorgosaurus. Further investigation in 1988 by paleontologists Robert Bakker, Phil Currie, and Michael Williams came to the conclusion that the specimen was morphologically unique enough to warrant an entirely new genus, from which came the current moniker Nanotyrannus. Despite the analysis by Bakker, Currie, and Williams however, other paleontologists believe the animal to not be a new genus, but to actually be a juvenile form of Tyrannosaurus. The debate remains unresolved to this day. New evidence of a Nanotyrannus specimen however, shows that the animal had exceptionally long arms for its size, further solidifying the theory that Nanotyrannus is indeed its own genus outside of Tyrannosaurus. Should Nanotyrannus be a true genus, then it would indeed be a kind of “pygmy” version of its much larger cousin Tyrannosaurus, and would fulfill the niche of a medium-sized predator of the Late Cretaceous period (around 17 ft. long), leaving the dromaeosaurs (“raptors”) as the smaller predators (with the exception of the gigantic Dakotaraptor), and Tyrannosaurus as the dominant predators.

Click on the images below to see the incredible fossils we offer in our Nanotyrannus  selection:

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