Meaning of name: Tyrant Lizard King.
Also called: Tyrannosaurus, T-rex.
Classification: Theropoda, Tetanurae, Coelurosauria, Tyrannosauroidea.
Time Period: Late Cretaceous, Maastrichtian Age.
Size: 12 – 15 meters (39 – 49ft) long.
Named by: HF Osborn in 1905.
Whats in a name? It’s all in the name. This is the king of the dinosaurs, the greatest of the great. But why do we know him so well? No one is really sure as to why but a possible reason might be that T-rex held the record for the biggest land-living predator of all time for nearly a century, his record shattered by Charcharodontosaurus, who was then moved to second largest by Giganotosaurus in the 1990s… but the record has been broken once again by a carnivore from Argentina.
Most well known for it’s tiny arms, massive jaws and incredible bite force, this big guy has made his way onto the silver screen more than any other dinosaur in history, Tyrannosaurus was also one of the first theropods to be depicted as walking with it’s body positioned horizontally, parallel to the ground, prior to this, all two legged dinosaurs were thought of as having upright postures much like we do.
T-rex’s social habits are a matter for debate but its thought that they led mostly solitary lives, with siblings occasionally forming packs and living together.
As you can see in the featured image, its now theorized that many dinosaurs were more colorful than once thought, and that most theropods had feathers. While it is suspected that Tyrannosaurus was probably red with dark stripes, it’s good to keep one’s mind open to other ideas, hence I picked an image with a blue Tyrannosaur.
Many palaeontologists agree on the previously mentioned theories but there is one thing almost no scientist can agree on: did T-rex hunt for food or was it a scavenger? This question arises from the fact that everyone automatically thinks T-rex was a predatory animal, so someone had to stand up and challenge the norm. They argued that Tyrannosaurus’ arms were too small for grappling with prey. Other scientists argue that that is the exact reason why T-rex had such large and powerful jaws and massive muscles in it’s neck, it didn’t have to use it’s arms because the first bite usually killed it’s prey almost instantly. Some palaeontologists say that it may have been a mixture of the two; that Tyrannosaurus hunted but also scavenged from dead animals when it got the chance. What do you think? Did T-rex hunt? Or was he a gigantic hyena?
This was Tyrannosaurus rex, this has been me, and you’ve been reading Palaeontology Made Easy.
Here are links to Stegosaurus: https://prehistoricearthblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/stegosaurus/ and Triceratops: https://wordpress.com/post/prehistoricearthblog.wordpress.com/272