Tyrannosaurus rex often called T. rex or colloquially T-Rex was one of the most ferocious predators to ever walk the Earth.
The name “Tyrannosaurus rex” comes from the Greek words tyranno meaning – “tyrant” and saurus – “lizard” and the Latin word rex – “king”. So, Tyrannosaurus rex means something like “king of the tyrant lizards.”
Despite its popularity, T. rex appears to have had a limited range in North America and Asia, and existed for a relatively short period of time.
T. rex lived about 70 to 65 million years ago, in the late cretaceous period. It was among the last of the big dinosaurs.
T. rex is believed to have lived in forests, near rivers, and in areas that were open and full of prey. Mild seasons would have been most favourable to it.
It was a bipedal carnivore with a massive skull balanced by a long, heavy tail. Compared to the large and powerful hind limbs, its forelimbs were small, but powerful for their size. They had two clawed digits.
T. rex could grow to lengths of over 12.3 m (40 ft), up to 4 m (13 ft) tall at the hips, and according to most modern estimates 8.4 metric tons (9.3 short tons) to 14 metric tons (15.4 short tons) in weight – about the size of a school bus.
It is currently believed that T. rex was the largest terrestrial carnivore of all time.
T. rex had senses that were similar to those of its close relatives, birds and crocodiles. Because of its forward-facing eyes, it might have had better depth perception than most other predatory dinosaurs.
Recent computer models and other evidence suggest that T. rex did not run but walked at speeds up to 24 km/h (15 mph). Still, 24 km/h (15 mph) was fast enough to hunt down other large dinosaurs, most of which were designed for even slower movement.
T. rex grew much faster than typical reptiles do today, and scientists estimate that it reached its full size in less than 20 years. To grow this quickly, T. rex may have increased its size by up to about 680 kilograms (1,500 pounds) per year during the middle of its “teenage” growth spurt.
T. rex had a life expectancy of about 28 years.
T. rex had 50 to 60 solid cone-shaped teeth as big as bananas. Its thick, sharp teeth could rip almost 100 kg of flesh off its victims in a single bone crunching chomp!
T. rex is estimated to have exerted the 2nd strongest bite force among all terrestrial animals (the greatest being Deinosuchus).
By far the largest carnivore in its environment, T. rex was most likely an apex predator, preying upon hadrosaurs, Juvenile armored herbivores like ceratopsians and ankylosaurs, and possibly sauropods. Some experts have suggested the dinosaur was primarily a scavenger. The question of whether Tyrannosaurus was an apex predator or a pure scavenger was among the longest debates in paleontology. Most paleontologists today accept that Tyrannosaurus was both an active predator and a scavenger.
It was one of the smartest of the meat-eating dinosaurs with a brain twice as big as those of other giant carnivores.
The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, or the K-T event, is the name given to the die-off of the dinosaurs including T. rex and other species that took place some 65.5 million years ago.
More than 20 almost-complete t rex skeletons have been found. The most perfect, nicknamed Sue, was unearthed in South Dakota, USA, 20 years ago. Experts together spent more than 25,000 hours restoring Sue’s bones for exhibition.
The people of the United States of America own dinosaur fossils found on federal land belong to the U.S. Government.
Since it was first described in 1905, T. rex has become the most widely recognized dinosaur species in popular culture. It is the only dinosaur that is commonly known to the general public by its full scientific name (binomial name) and the scientific abbreviation T. rex has also come into wide usage. Robert T. Bakker notes this in The Dinosaur Heresies and explains that, “a name like ‘T. rex’ is just irresistible to the tongue.”
Tyrannosaurus rex appears in many works of fiction and literature. A T. rex is important in A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury. A T. rex is a big part of the novel Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, and Steven Spielberg’s crew built a life-sized robot T. rex and a CGI T. rex for the movie version of
Jurassic Park. Many other T. rexes have appeared in books, movies and animated works.