Tyrannosaurus rex was a large
Theropod dinosaur. The animal was a
carnivore (meat-eater), and lived in North America and Asia
during late Cretaceous period,
about 67 to 65 million years ago.
It was one of the last dinosaurs, and probably went
during the the
An average Tyrannosaurus was about about 39 feet (11.9 meters) long, up to
20 feet (6.1 meters) tall, and weighed around 7 tons.
Until the mid-1990s, it was generally thought that Tyrannosaurus was the largest
land predator ever. Then, scientists discovered
lived was a 45 feet (13.8 meter) long carnivore that lived in Argentina about 100
million years ago. New research, first published in
2006, now suggests
Spinosaurus may have been even
larger still: upto 51 feet (17 meters) long.
Since the 1960s, some scientists have argued that Tyrannosaurus was not
a fearsome predator, but a slow-moving scavenger, that fed on carcasses
killed by other carnivores.
However, other scientists
argue that the possibility of binocular vision (Tyrannosaurus rex has
two forward facing eyes), and the relatively large areas of the
brain associated with sight and smell, suggest it must have been an active predator.
Tyrannosaurus rex arm bones:
The name Tyrannosaurus rex
was chosen by
Henry Fairfield Osborn
and like most scientific names of animals is derived from Ancient Greek.
"Tyrannosaurus" means "tyrant lizard",
"rex" means "king", and hence in combination
"Tyrannosaurus rex" means
"tyrant king lizard".
Tyrannosaurus rex was a member of the Saurischia ("lizard-hipped") order of dinosaurs. What this means, is that although Tyrannosaurus rex was not closely related to lizards, it did have similarly shaped pelvic bones.
Tyrannosaurus rex was a Theropod - a member of a group of related bipedal dinosaurs that included the ancestors of birds (although Tyrannosaurus rex was not itself an ancestor of birds).
Tyrannosaurus rex lived between about 67 million years ago and 65 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period.
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