Dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus Rex (Tyrannosaurus), the greatest predator in the history of the Earth

Dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus Rex (Tyrannosaurus), the greatest predator in the history of the Earth


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Tyrannosaurus rex factsheet

Translation: Tyrant lizard "King"
Also known as: Tarbosaurus
Description: Carnivore, bipedal
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Infraorder: Tetanurae
Microorder: Carnosauria
Family: Tyrannosauridae
Height: 7.0 meters
Length: 12 meters
Weight: 7.258 kg
Period: Upper Cretaceous

The Tyrannosaurus It is the genus of theropod dinosaur coelurosaurus best known of all dinosaurs of all history.

The species Tyrannosaurus rex (rex is "king" in Latin), often colloquially called simply T. Rex or T-rex, is one of the most represented large theropods.

Tyrannosaurus lived in what is now western North America, on what was then an insular continent known as Laramidia, and its fossils were found in a variety of Maastrichtian rock formations, in the period Cretaceous higher, between 68 and 66 million years ago.

It was the last known member of the Tyrannosauridae family and one of the last non-avian dinosaurs to become extinct in the event ofCretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction.

Description of the T-Rex

Like others Tyrannosauridae dinosaurs, the tyrannosaurus was a bipedal carnivore with a massive skull with powerful jaws packed with saw-type teeth 18cm length, balanced by a long and heavy tail.

His hind limbs were large and powerful, while the above were short, but unusually powerful for its size, being able to lift up to 270 kg weight, and were made up of double digit hands with strong claws.

Despite its might and weight, the tyrannosaurus was not slow as believed, but it is likely that it could run in gusts of up to 48 km / h.

The most complete specimen ever found measures up to 12.3 meters long, up to 3.66 meters tall to the hips and, by most modern estimates, weighed between 8,400 and 14,000 kilos.

Although other theropods competed or surpassed Tyrannosaurus rex in size, still among the largest known land predators and it is estimated that he has exercised the greatest bite force of all land animals known.

Tyrannosaurus Rex diet

The tyrannosaurus was, by far, the largest carnivore of its environment and in turn, a super predator, that is, it did not have any natural predator, ranking at the top of the food chain.

Tyrannosaurus rex probably preyed on hadrosaurs, armored herbivores such as ceratopsians and ankylosaurs, and possibly the sauropods. However, some experts have suggested that this dinosaur was primarily a scavenger, this being one of the longest debates in paleontology. Most paleontologists today accept that the Tyrannosaurus was both an active predator and a scavenger.

Tyrannosaurus Rex Study

They have been identified more than 50 specimens of Tyrannosaurus rex, some of which are almost complete skeletons. Soft tissues and proteins have even been reported in at least one of these samples.

The abundance of fossil material has allowed significant research into many aspects of its biology, including its life history and biomechanics.

Tyrannosaurus rex discussions

Eating habits, physiology, and potential velocity of Tyrannosaurus rex are some of the topics for debate. Its taxonomy is also controversial, as some scientists consider that the Tarbosaurus bataar from Asia is a second species of Tyrannosaurus, while others hold that Tarbosaurus is a separate genus.

Several other genera of North American tyrannosaurs have also been synonymous with Tyrannosaurus.

Like the archetypal theropod, Tyrannosaurus is one of the best known dinosaurs since the 20th century, and has been featured in movies, advertisements, and postage stamps, as well as many other types of media.

Did the Tyrannosaurus have feathers?

While there is no direct evidence that Tyrannosaurus rex had feathers, many scientists now consider it probable that the T-Rex had feathers on at least parts of its body, due to its presence in related species.

Mark Norell, from the American Museum of Natural History, summed up the balance of the evidence by stating that: «We have a lot of evidence that the Tyrannosaurus rex was a feathered dinosaur, or that at least it had them during some stage of its life, as we saw that australopithecines like Lucy had hair«.

The first evidence of feathers in tyrannosauroids came from the small species Dilong paradoxus, found in the Yixian Formation of China and reported in 2004.

Like many other coelurosaur theropods discovered in Yixian, the fossil skeleton was preserved with a layer of filamentous structures, which are commonly recognized as the precursors of feathers.

Because all known skin impressions of the largest tyrannosauroids that were known at the time showed evidence of scales, the researchers who studied Dilongse speculated that feathers might have a negative correlation with body size, and that young tyrannosaurs may have had feathers, to get rid of them as he got bigger and did not need them to warm up.

Later discoveries showed that even some large tyrannosauroids had feathers that covered a large part of their bodies, which casts doubt on the hypothesis that it was a characteristic related to size.

In 2017, based on skin impressions found on the tail, ilium and neck of the specimen 'Wyrex' (BHI 6230) and other closely related tyrannosaurs, it was suggested that large-bodied Tyrannosaurus were scaly and, if covered partially feathered, these were limited only to the back.

Images: Shutterstock

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