The finding of dinosaur bones it’s cause for celebration in paleontology, but when a fossil is so well preserved as to include the remains of its last meal, it’s even more amazing.

This milestone occurred at Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada in 2019, when a team of researchers from the University of Calgary stumbled upon a Gorgosaurus libratus about 75 million years ago, who was between five and seven years old when he died, with the hind legs of two small dinosaurs in his stomach.

After years of research to determine the age and species of these small dinosaurs, scientists published their results this Friday, December 8. in the journal “Science”confirming the theory that juvenile tyrannosaurs — the family of dinosaurs that includes Jurassic Park’s fearsome rex — hunted young prey, focusing on animals they could take down on their own.

The study’s lead author, Canadian paleontologist François Therrien, and his colleagues had a unique opportunity. The team discovered its fossil inside a layer of rock that looks like an ancient river channel. Therrien explains that dinosaur bones are likely to be found in these types of environments, as rivers carry a lot of sediment and quickly bury the remains, helping to preserve them. However, it is unusual for them to be so remarkably preserved.

Tyrannosaurs are a family of carnivores that dominated present-day Asia and North America until 66 million years ago, towards the end of the Cretaceous period. They are considered the largest predators ever, with the largest found measuring almost 13 meters in length and weighing almost 10 tons. The younger ones were thin, with narrow skulls, razor teeth and long, thin hind limbs. Adults, on the other hand, had huge skulls and were large, capable of crushing their prey. The goal of the research team is to obtain more data and investigate the behavior, ecology and feeding habits of tyrannosaurs.