43 Facts About Tyrannosaurus


Tyrannosaurus lived throughout what is western North America, on what was then an island continent known as Laramidia.

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Relative to its large and powerful hind limbs, the forelimbs of Tyrannosaurus were short but unusually powerful for their size, and they had two clawed digits.

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The question of whether Tyrannosaurus was an apex predator or a pure scavenger was among the longest debates in paleontology.

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Specimens of Tyrannosaurus rex include some that are nearly complete skeletons.

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Teeth from what is documented as a Tyrannosaurus rex were found in 1874 by Arthur Lakes near Golden, Colorado.

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The dig was concluded over 3 weeks in 2004 by the Black Hills Institute with the first live online Tyrannosaurus excavation providing daily reports, photos, and video.

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Second footprint that may have been made by a Tyrannosaurus was first reported in 2007 by British paleontologist Phil Manning, from the Hell Creek Formation of Montana.

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Whether or not the track was made by Tyrannosaurus is unclear, though Tyrannosaurus is the only large theropod known to have existed in the Hell Creek Formation.

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In other respects Tyrannosaurus's skull was significantly different from those of large non-tyrannosaurid theropods.

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Vertebral column of Tyrannosaurus consisted of ten neck vertebrae, thirteen back vertebrae and five sacral vertebrae.

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Tyrannosaurus is the type genus of the superfamily Tyrannosauroidea, the family Tyrannosauridae, and the subfamily Tyrannosaurinae; in other words it is the standard by which paleontologists decide whether to include other species in the same group.

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The discovery of the tyrannosaurid Lythronax further indicates that Tarbosaurus and Tyrannosaurus are closely related, forming a clade with fellow Asian tyrannosaurid Zhuchengtyrannus, with Lythronax being their sister taxon.

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Holtz and Zanno both remarked that it was plausible that more than one species of Tyrannosaurus existed, but felt the new study was insufficient to support the species it proposed.

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Tyrannosaurus'stology has allowed the age of other specimens to be determined.

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An additional study published in 2020 by Woodward and colleagues, for the journal Science Advances indicates that during their growth from juvenile to adult, Tyrannosaurus was capable of slowing down its growth to counter environmental factors such as lack of food.

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Gregory S Paul writes that Tyrannosaurus reproduced quickly and died young, but attributes their short life spans to the dangerous lives they lived.

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The study concluded that feather covering of large tyrannosaurids such as Tyrannosaurus was, if present, limited to the upper side of the trunk.

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Conference abstract published in 2016 posited that theropods such as Tyrannosaurus had their upper teeth covered in lips, instead of bare teeth as seen in crocodilians.

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Nonetheless, Tyrannosaurus was probably able to get up if it fell, which only would have required placing the limbs below the center of gravity, with the tail as an effective counterbalance.

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In 2022, Wiemann and colleagues used a different approach—the spectroscopy of lipoxidation signals, which are byproducts of oxidative phosphorylation and correlate with metabolic rates—to show that various dinosaur genera including Tyrannosaurus had endothermic metabolisms, on par with that of modern birds and higher than that of mammals.

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Tyrannosaurus was a bulky and heavy carnivore so it is unlikely to run very fast at all compared to other theropods like Carnotaurus or Giganotosaurus.

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Together, these leg features allowed Tyrannosaurus to transmit locomotory forces from the foot to the lower leg more effectively than in earlier theropods.

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Rare fossil footprints and trackways found in New Mexico and Wyoming that are assigned to the ichnogenus Tyrannosauripus have been attributed to being made by Tyrannosaurus, based on the stratigraphic age of the rocks they are preserved in.

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Study conducted by Lawrence Witmer and Ryan Ridgely of Ohio University found that Tyrannosaurus shared the heightened sensory abilities of other coelurosaurs, highlighting relatively rapid and coordinated eye and head movements; an enhanced ability to sense low frequency sounds, which would allow tyrannosaurs to track prey movements from long distances; and an enhanced sense of smell.

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Stevens estimated that Tyrannosaurus had 13 times the visual acuity of a human and surpassed the visual acuity of an eagle, which is 3.

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Tyrannosaurus would suggest that this made precision more crucial for Tyrannosaurus enabling it to, "get in, get that blow in and take it down.

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Tyrannosaurus had very large olfactory bulbs and olfactory nerves relative to their brain size, the organs responsible for a heightened sense of smell.

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The sensitive neurovascular canals of Tyrannosaurus likely were adapted to performing fine movements and behaviors such as nest building, parental care, and other social behavior such as intraspecific communication.

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The study concluded that Tyrannosaurus had the relatively largest brain of all adult non-avian dinosaurs with the exception of certain small maniraptoriforms.

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Tyrannosaurus ruled out the possibility of a predator trap due to the similar preservation state of individuals and the near absence of herbivores.

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Stephan Lautenschlager and colleagues calculated that Tyrannosaurus was capable of a maximum jaw gape of around 80 degrees, a necessary adaptation for a wide range of jaw angles to power the creature's strong bite.

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Ever since the first discovery of Tyrannosaurus most scientists have speculated that it was a predator; like modern large predators it would readily scavenge or steal another predator's kill if it had the opportunity.

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Paleontologist Jack Horner has been a major proponent of the view that Tyrannosaurus was not a predator at all but instead was exclusively a scavenger.

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Tyrannosaurus has put forward arguments in the popular literature to support the pure scavenger hypothesis:.

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Studies on hadrosaur vertebrae from the Hell Creek Formation that were punctured by the teeth of what appears to be a late-stage juvenile Tyrannosaurus indicate that despite lacking the bone-crushing adaptations of the adults, young individuals were still capable of using the same bone-puncturing feeding technique as their adult counterparts.

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Tyrannosaurus may have had infectious saliva used to kill its prey, as proposed by William Abler in 1992.

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Tyrannosaurus itself has strong evidence pointing towards it having been cannibalistic in at least a scavenging capacity based on tooth marks on the foot bones, humerus, and metatarsals of one specimen.

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Tyrannosaurus lived during what is referred to as the Lancian faunal stage at the end of the Late Cretaceous.

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Tyrannosaurus ranged from Canada in the north to at least New Mexico in the south of Laramidia.

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Tyrannosaurus remains have been discovered in different ecosystems, including inland and coastal subtropical, and semi-arid plains.

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Several notable Tyrannosaurus remains have been found in the Hell Creek Formation.

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Tyrannosaurus shared this ecosystem with ceratopsians Leptoceratops, Torosaurus, and Triceratops, the hadrosaurid Edmontosaurus annectens, the parksosaurid Thescelosaurus, the ankylosaurs Ankylosaurus and Denversaurus, the pachycephalosaurs Pachycephalosaurus and Sphaerotholus, and the theropods Ornithomimus, Struthiomimus, Acheroraptor, Dakotaraptor, Pectinodon and Anzu.

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Lastly, the study suggests that in most cases, only one in 80 million Tyrannosaurus would become fossilized, while the chances were likely as high as one in every 16, 000 of an individual becoming fossilized in areas that had more dense populations.

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