Scientists who study fossils have discovered a new species of tiny T. rex which shows its ancestors were a bit less terrifying. Learn about this story and English words in the news in this free English lesson.

The story

A new dinosaur – a diminutive ancestor of the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex – has been identified by a palaeontologist who first discovered the bones as a teenager in New Mexico more than 20 years ago. The creature dates back 92 million years, about 20 million years earlier than T.rex, and would have been less than a metre tall. Scientists are not certain how the small tyrannosaurus-type dinosaurs evolved into some of the largest and most fearsome creatures ever to walk the Earth.

Key words and phrases

appearing large and impressive

  • Professional body builders are imposing figures
  • The bank was an imposing building. It seemed to dare thieves to try robbing it.

trod lightly
spoke or acted carefully to avoid making a mistake

  • He trod lightly as he arrived. He didn’t want his wife to know he’d come home late.
  • The boss is in a terrible mood today, so tread lightly! No bad news!

stepping stone
action or event that helps (someone) advance towards something

  • Study hard, class. Each level of education is a stepping stone to your final career.
  • Each failed design was a stepping stone in the invention of the light bulb.

Language challenge
Which of the following is a synonym of ‘frightening’?
a) fearful
b) fearsome
c) fearless

For the answer, watch this on our website:

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