Grizzly bear loses status as all-time apex predator in Yellowstone

October 8, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

The grizzly bear long has been considered the all-time apex predator in the Yellowstone National Park ecosystem.

No longer.

According to a report at the Cowboy State Daily, a new scientific paper from ResearchGate identified a dinosaur fossil found in the park as a tooth from a juvenile Tyrannosaurus.

The single tooth was found in the park more than 50 years ago, in 1966, by U.S. Geological Survey geologist Joseph Wietz.

He was on a team mapping Big Game Ridge in the southeastern corner of the park.

Matt Carrano, curator of dinosaurs at the Smithsonian Institution, said there hadn't been much interest in fossils from the park, but he was one of the authors confirming the new identification.

He said usually there would be a "note" about the discovery of a tooth, but that then would be relegated to a geology collection and "overlooked."

The Cowboy State Daily explained, "The rediscovery of Yellowstone’s first dinosaur started when fossils from the U.S. Geological Survey were moved from a facility in Colorado to the Smithsonian’s collections. The fossil had been noted in a few geologic papers since it was discovered, but it had been misidentified or barely mentioned."

When Carrano and his team started reviewing the materials, they found the tooth and identified it.

The report said Carrano explained the tooth was found in a layer of rock from the Late Cretaceous Period, and that Harebell Formation extends beyond the park. It said although there have been no extensive excavations or complete skeletons found in the park, there have been in the same layers outside.

There, fossils from horned dinosaurs, duck-billed dinosaurs and more have been found, he said.

Carrano told the publication now there are plans being made for more exploration in the park.

The Smithsonian already has other dinosaur fossils from Wyoming, and Carrano said, "Wyoming has a pretty incredible dinosaur fossil record. Some of the earliest discoveries of T.rex were from the eastern end of the state near Lusk and Newcastle. The whole state is bracketed by discoveries of this animal."

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