I recently saw a documentary about Tyrannosaurus rex, which detailed the growth stages of the dinosaur. Apparently, it underwent a huge growth spurt at around 14 years of age, growing into the massive predator so well known in the popular imagination. From what else I've read, this much seems uncontroversial.
However, it made another claim which is that pre-teen Tyrannosaurs had a radically different morphology from adults. The skull was smaller, the legs much longer and the two-fingered forearms far larger in proportion to the rest of the body.
Given that there is some limited evidence for the animal living and hunting in social groups, the program speculated animals of different ages may have filled different hunting roles. The faster, more agile teens driving prey toward the massive, slower adults which then tackled the actual killing. Lions in Africa hunt in packs in this way, but whether Tyrannosaurs did remains speculative.
Anyway, on seeing the body plan of the young Tyrannosaur, I immediately wondered at how any palaeontologist could identify it as the same species as the adult. And lo, the documentary went on to say that, for some years, it was presumed to be a different species.
So the question is: given the radically different body shapes of these two forms and the limited evidence one can glean from the fossil record, how were scientists able to conclusively identify that young and adult tyrannosaurs were, in fact, members of the same species?