Dr. David Burnham, a paleontologist from the University of Kansas, confirmed Thursday that he and a group of students have indeed discovered fossilized remains of a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex in Montana’s Hell Creek Formation, located in the eastern part of the state.

The group found an upper jaw section, with all of the teeth intact, along with parts of the skull, foot, hip and backbone of a young Tyrannosaurus rex that lived 66 million years ago.

University of Kansas
University of Kansas

The Kansas-based group just finished comparing their findings to existing specimens, and are now confirming that the remains uncovered near Hell Creek are of a young Tyrannosaurus rex.

The skull was the first bone found by the group, after that they began uncovering teeth, cheek, hip and back bones.

Members of the team have dubbed student-researcher Kris Super the “real MVP” of the discovery because he is the one who first spotted the remains. According to Burnham, only a handful of young tyrannosaur remains have ever been found.

"Of the 150 years of collecting, there's only been a few of these young tyrannosaurs found and compared to ours they have even less bones," says Burnham.

The remains were originally found two years ago, but the group unearthed the fossil during the summer of 2017. These same researchers will head back to Hell Creek this summer where they hope to discover additional remains.

"We hope to find limb bones, and we'd like to find a leg," Burnham says about the return expedition later this summer.

As for whether the group thinks additional young tyrannosaurs can be found in the same area, Burnham says he thinks it's possible because the group found teeth from a similar animal nearby. "We think that there may be another individual in there, so we're really intrigued and we really want to dig further into that hill."

Learn more about the project by watching a video produced by the university.

More From KMMS-KPRK 1450 AM