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Video: Tyrannosaur Species Dubbed 'Reaper of Death' Discovered in Canada

By Tim Binnall

A new species of Tyrannosaur identified by paleontologists in Canada has been given the monstrous moniker 'Reaper of Death.' The ancient creature was reportedly first discovered back in 2008 by a farmer named John De Groot, who spotted a skull and jawbone as he was walking along the shore of a river in the town of Hamlet, Alberta. He subsequently donated the materials to the nearly Royal Tyrrell Museum which boasts a sizeable collection of fossils from dinosaurs that once roamed the region.

Remarkably, the fossils sat in a drawer at the museum for nearly a decade until Jared Voris, a doctoral paleontology student from Calgary University, was looking through the museum's collection and the pieces piqued his interest. Upon closer examination of the skull, he found that it sported several unique characteristics that set it apart from other species of Tyrannosaur, specifically a curious set of prominent ridges that ran along the dinosaur's upper jaw.

The creature, a cousin of the iconic T. rex, is thought to have lived in Alberta around 79.5 million years ago. According to researchers, it likely stood eight feet tall and measured 30 feet long. As for its menacing name, Voris explained that it came from the desire to convey the dinosaur's role as an apex predator of its time. As such, it was dubbed Thanatotheristes which is derived from the Greek God of death Thanatos and theristes, which means an individual who reaps.

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