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The Collective Noun for a Group of Tyrannosaurs
Tyrannosaurs, or to be more precise those theropod dinosaurs that make up the family Tyrannosauroidea are probably the most well known of all the different types of dinosaurs. One of the last Tyrannosaurs and one of the largest to evolve was the fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex (King of the Tyrannical Lizards). This dinosaur held the record for being the largest and most powerful predator of all time on earth for the better part of a century, no respectable dinosaur movie was complete without a T. Rex or two showing up for chased and consumed some people. T. rex lived at the end of the Cretaceous, in a part of the world we now know as the western United States and Canada, although at that time most of the Americas were covered by a warm, shallow sea that scientists they call it the Western Interior. Sea route.
Tyrannosaurus Rex was huge with a very deep and powerful skull. Its strong jaws and banana-sized teeth gave it perhaps the most powerful bite of any land predator. Scientists have estimated that it can generate a bite force at the tips of its massive teeth of more than 15,000 pounds per square inch. This is becoming fifteen times more powerful than the bite of a modern African lion (Panthero leo).
However, in the late 1990s evidence of even larger meat-eating dinosaurs began to be discovered. Scientists had speculated that Spinosaurs, particularly the remains of one such creature whose fossilized bones were found in 1911, just a few years after T. rex had been formally named and described, were at least as large as a Tyrannosaurus Rex. . Fossils found in South America proved that Tyrannosaurs didn’t have it all their own way when it came to being big and truly ferocious. In 1993, a local fossil collector Ruben Carolini found the fossilized remains of a large meat-eating dinosaur. Later scientific expeditions discovered the skull of a carnivorous dinosaur that was larger than any T. Rex skull then known. Scientists then found the jaw close to one such creature that was even larger. From these discoveries, the “Southern Giant Lizard” was described, and Giganotosaurus carolini officially became the largest carnivorous dinosaur known from the fossil record, and by default, the largest land carnivore of all time.
However, the debate over which was the largest meat-eating dinosaur still rages on, fueled by more fossil discoveries from the United States, Argentina and North Africa. An intriguing new area of research has revealed perhaps a trait among Tyrannosaurs that was not considered until recently – that these animals may have been cattle hunters.
The behavior of carnivorous dinosaurs was probably as varied as that of modern mammalian carnivores. Today, we see social hunters such as lions and wolves, as well as apex predators that tend to be more solitary such as leopards and cougars. In addition, some modern predators, considered mainly solitary, have a form of group existence for part of their lives. A female polar bear (currently considered the largest land carnivore alive today), will have her cubs with her for a considerable period, although it is the adult who does the hunting. Tigers also, widely considered solitary hunters, form packs for part of their lives. Here the young cubs spend perhaps up to two years with their mother and as sub-adults, the siblings will often live as a free-ranging group for a while, before reaching sexual maturity. The collective name for a group of tigers is a “tiger ambush” – an apt description considering the ambush tactics most tiger species use when hunting prey.
It was Professor Phi Currie and his colleagues who raised the profile of pack hunting in Tyrannosaurs with a paper published in 2000, detailing a study of an Albertosaur (type Tyrannosaur) bonebed in Canada. The scientific paper was titled “Possible evidence of gregarious behavior in tyrannosaurids”. The remains of at least three Albertosaurs were discovered together in a bed of bones, these dinosaurs were of different sizes, perhaps they were part of a herd of these dinosaurs that crashed together crossing a swollen river, or perhaps the bodies of these animals were deposited in the same place many years apart from different floods.
Professor Currie of the University of Alberta and his team speculated that for at least part of the time, large theropods may have formed herds or family groups. Juveniles may have been associated with mature animals in herds and therefore do not compete for food with smaller Theropod species. After a five-year research program, further evidence for the behavior of large species of Tyrannosaurs has been discovered in the Gobi Desert. Phil Currie has been at the forefront of this research, working closely with Chinese museum counterparts, including the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology. This time, the Tyrannosaurus in question is Tarbosaurus bataar a close relative of Tyrannosaurus Rex. This Asian Tyrannosaurid is the largest Asian predator known with fossils found in China and Mongolia. It was very similar to the T. Rex with a slightly narrower snout and smaller teeth. It reached a length of more than 12 meters and would weigh about five metric tons.
If Tyrannosaurs, including Tyrannosaurus Rex were livestock hunters, then these creatures probably specialized in attacking large herbivores such as Ceratopsians (horned dinosaurs) and Hadrosaurs (duck-billed dinosaurs). It is not known whether these animals remained in family groups for most of their lives. It is also impossible to determine whether these creatures had any tactics for hunting prey. Lions have strategies for hunting in the African plains, wolves also use a variety of tactics to trap game. It is not known whether Tyrannosaurs were able to communicate and coordinate attacks with perhaps individuals having their own specialized roles to play in hunting.
Tyrannosaurs as pack animals would have been truly terrifying. This raises the intriguing question of what the collective name for a herd of Tyrannosaurs should be. A collective noun is a word used to describe a collection of creatures such as a school of whales, a school of fish, or a pride of lions. What would be an appropriate collective known for a group of Theropod dinosaurs? Perhaps we could put forward the proposal that a group of Albertosaurs be called an “attack” of Albertosaurs.
But what about the Tyrannosaurus Rex? What would be the collective name for a group of these fearsome reptiles, might we suggest a Tyrannosaurus “tyranny” or how about a T. Rexes “tirade”?
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