A Group Of Animals That Feed Only On Plant Material Dinosaurs That Were Bigger than Tyrannnosaurus Rex

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Dinosaurs That Were Bigger than Tyrannnosaurus Rex

Tyrannosaurus rex, otherwise known as T. rex is probably the most famous creature known from the fossil record. It’s certainly a very well-known dinosaur, but ironically new evidence has emerged over the last decade or so that challenges some of the public’s long-held perceptions about this prehistoric monster.

T. rex The most popular dinosaur in the world?

Ask a young child what his favorite dinosaur is and he will most likely say Tyrannosaurus rex. This dinosaur is often referred to as the “superstar predator” of the Late Cretaceous, but just how big and scary was this dinosaur? Were there other dinosaurs that were bigger than the T. Rex? Does this dinosaur deserve the name “tyrannical lizard king”?

Tyrannosaurus rex is a member of the Tyrannosaurid dinosaur family. This type of carnivorous dinosaur evolved sometime in the Jurassic, and as a group they remained relatively unimportant until the Late Cretaceous, when they developed into a number of giant forms and became the apex predators of the northern hemisphere, especially in Asia and North America. . As for the exact origin of Tyrannosaurs, this remains unclear. Eotirannus (Eotyrannus lengi) known from a single skeleton discovered on the Isle of Wight (England), shows a number of Tyrannosaur characteristics, and some scientists have suggested that this group of dinosaurs first evolved in Europe. However, some scientists argue that Tyrannosaurs originated in East Asia, citing fossil discoveries such as Guanlong (Guanlong wucaii) from Late Jurassic strata in China as evidence that the ancestors of T. rex were from the Orient.

As a group, Tyrannosaurids had large, heavy and broad skulls. The jaws were lined with massive, slightly curved teeth with either side of each tooth serrated like a saw blade. The teeth, especially those of the later, larger tyrannosaurids such as T. rex, Gorgosaurus and Daspletosaurus were thick and D-shaped in cross-section. The forelimbs were much shorter than in other groups of theropods such as the allosaurids. In the late Tyrannosaurs, these arms ended in two-fingered hands, with each finger having a sharp claw at the end. The tail was long and muscular and helped these creatures balance. Ironically, T. rex is relatively well represented in the fossil record when compared to other Late Cretaceous carnivores. A number of good quality, nearly complete skulls are known, the largest of which is a fraction over 1.7 meters long.

The Tyrannosaurus rex skull was powerful enough to crack bone. Estimates of the bite force of this predator show that this animal had one of the strongest bites of all animals known to science. The heavy lower jaw had a flexible joint in its middle, a feature found in a number of other unrelated carnivorous dinosaurs. This joint allowed the jaws to bend so that the mouth could be opened very wide to take in large pieces of meat and bone. The large orbit (eye socket) indicates that this dinosaur had excellent vision. Measurements taken of the approximate size of the optic nerve entering the brain from the eye suggest that this nerve was at least two centimeters thick in large specimens. This would indicate that a large amount of data was being transmitted from this dinosaur’s sense of sight to the brain. It had forward-facing eyes, giving the T. rex stereoscopic vision, a tremendous advantage especially when you consider that the T. rex could see the world from fourteen feet in the air – its head perched atop its powerful neck .

In terms of size, the largest known Tyrannosaurus rex is a solid form, currently mounted at the Chicago Field Museum (Chicago, United States). Believed to be a female, this specimen is over forty-two meters long and scientists have estimated that this particular animal could have weighed up to 7,000 kilograms. Discovered in the Badlands of South Dakota in the early 1990s, this specimen is the largest mounted Tyrannosaur skeleton in the world. However, rumors of an even larger Tyrannosaurus rex fossil are circulating in scientific circles. The skull, although not fully excavated, is believed to be six inches larger than that of the Chicago Field Museum specimen.

Even with this new Tyrannosaur discovery, there were a number of other dinosaurs that were much larger than T. rex. First, a number of plant-eating dinosaurs were much, much larger, but even in the world of carnivores there are several candidates to compete with T. rex for the title of the largest carnivorous dinosaur known to science.

Remaining within the Tyrannosaur family, we can encounter two possible rivals of Tyrannosaurus rex – animals such as Tarbosaurus (Tarbosaurus bataar) from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia. The larger of the two Tarbosaurus skeletons mounted at the Paleontological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow (Russia) is nearly forty feet long. Then there’s the newly discovered Chinese Tyrannosaurus, known as the “Tyran from Zhucheng City” – Zhuchengtyrannus magus. This Late Cretaceous carnivore was only formally described in April this year. It is known from a nearly complete skeleton recovered from an excavation site within the last twelve months or so. The lower left jawbone (dentary) is almost complete and is more than a meter long, indicating an animal possibly as large as Tyrannosaurus rex.

Then we have to consider the other contenders, dinosaurs that were carnivorous and larger than Tyrannosaurus rex. Perhaps the best known of these is Giganotosaurus (Giganotosaurus carolini). Fossils of this dinosaur were first found in Argentina in 1994 and were officially described a year later. Giganotosaurus was a member of the Allosaur family, estimated to be nearly fifty meters long and probably weighed up to eight thousand kilograms. Then there’s Carcharodontosaurus (Carcharodontosaurus saharicus), from North Africa. Although known only from fragmentary material, this Allosaur has been estimated to be about forty-six feet long.

Finally, there is the little-known predator whose fossils were found in the famous Cleveland-Lloyd Quarry in the Morrison Formation (Utah). This dinosaur, also a member of the Allosaurids, is known as Saurophaganax (S. maximum). A few bones assigned to this genus were discovered before World War II, but they were not scientifically studied in detail until the mid-1990s. Little is known about this dinosaur, but estimates suggest that this carnivore was over forty feet in length, rivaled the largest tyrannosaurids.

For now, the T. Rex remains the most famous of all dinosaurs, but not the largest land predator of all time. That is until the next T.rex fossil is discovered.

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