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Dinosaurs and Birds - The Link Between Them

Little Clint 2006 Fact Sheet

The smallest associated skull and postcranial skeleton of a tyrannosaurid (Dinosauria, Coelurosauria) from the Hell Creek Formation (Late Maastrichtian) of the western interior.

By: Carr, Thomas D., Alison Wojahn, Chris De Santis, Christy Brown, Adam Ogle.

What is little Clint and what is its significance?
Little Clint is the smallest partial skeleton of a tyrannosaur that includes bones from both the skull and postcranial skeleton.

The four bones we collected were found lying together, are from the same type of dinosaur, and have a comparable small size, which indicates that they are from the same individual.
It is scientifically important because it is only one of three partial skeletons of a tyrannosaur less than five meters in length from the Hell Creek Formation – the majority of skeletons are of subadult and adult tyrannosaurs.

Little Clint gives us a view into the earliest growth stages of tyrannosaurs, which are poorly known.

Is little Clint a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex?
Although little Clint is unquestionably a small tyrannosaur, it is so young that it does not display any of the diagnostic characters that would allow it to be identified as a specific tyrannosaur species. Closer study – and more bones – may change this assessment.

However, T. rex is the only tyrannosaur present in the Hell Creek Formation and so it is most parsimonious to hypothesize little Clint is a juvenile T. rex.

What is the Hell Creek Formation?
The Hell Creek Formation was the last rock unit to be deposited in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota before the mass extinction that wiped out the nonavian dinosaurs.
The Hell Creek Formation lasted from 66.9 – 65.51 million years ago.

What do we have of little Clint?
Little Clint was discovered on the second last day of the first Carthage College-Dinosaur Discovery Museum expedition to the Hell Creek Formation, and it was identified as a tyrannosaur, and collected, on the last day of the expedition.

So far, we have collected four bones: the left frontal, a fragment of the forelimb, the right tibia, and a pedal phalanx (toe bone).

Is there more of little Clint in the cliff?
Next year we plan to quarry the immediate area of the site to find more bones of the specimen.

Who discovered little Clint?
Ms. Alison Wojahn (Carthage College) and Mr. Chris De Santis (Dinosaur Discovery Museum) discovered fragments of little Clint weathering out of a cliff face on Tuesday July 25, 2006.

Where was little Clint discovered?
Little Clint was discovered in southeastern Montana in exposures of the Hell Creek Formation on lands regulated by the Bureau of Land Management.

Who identified little Clint?
Dr. Thomas Carr identified little Clint as a tyrannosaur when the pedal phalanx was discovered.

Shortly after that, the frontal bone was uncovered, which was also diagnostic of tyrannosaurs.

Where will little Clint be stored?
Little Clint is curated into the collections of the Dinosaur Discovery Museum in downtown Kenosha.

Who is little Clint named for?
Little Clint is nicknamed after Mr. Clint Boyd, a Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University, who was instrumental in providing the opportunity for Dr. Carr and his crew to conduct fieldwork in southeastern Montana.