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Build & Characteristics

  • Tyrannosaurus means “Tyrant Lizard King” because it was one of the largest and most powerful dinosaurs.
  • Measured an average of 40 feet long (12 meters) and 16 feet tall (5 meters). T-Rex weighed an average of 12,000 pounds and as much as 16,000 pounds (6 to 8 tons). That’s more than an African Elephant, and as long as a school bus!
  • Was a bipedal (Two-legged) carnivore or a Theropod.
  • Its arms were only 1 meter long with two fingers which were unusually powerful for their size; its hind limbs were much longer and very strong.
  • Tyrannosaurus had 60, 8 inch long cone-shaped serrated teeth that were continually replaced, much like sharks do today.
  • Along with those sharp teeth, T.Rex also possessed a jaw so powerful they could crush a car. Their powerful jaws were built for crunching, their stiff skull allowed the T.Rex to channel all of its muscles into one big bite. The Tyrannosaurus used this powerful bite to toss and throw prey into the air to swallow them whole. This behavior can also be seen by modern day Killer Whales.
  • Tyrannosaurus likely preyed on living animals and scavenged carcasses, however some scientist have found evidence that these powerful carnivores even hunted each other.
  • Recent studies have revealed the Tyrannosaurus possessed as many olfactory receptors as a house cat does today. This heightened sense of smell helped them find food, detect other predators, and find mates.

History

  • They dominated the forests during the late Cretaceous Period in North America, 85-65 million years ago.

Discovery

  • Discovered in the USA, Canada and East Asia.
  • The first specimen was found in eastern Wyoming in 1900 by Barnum Brown.
  • An amateur fossil hunter discovered an almost complete Tyrannosaurus fossilized skeleton in 1988 in Montana. Now known as the Wankle T. Rex, it is on loan to the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC.