Tyrannosaurus

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Nothing else combined its size, speed, and power. - Gregory S. Paul

'Tyrannosaurus' is a genus of coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur that lived approximately 68 to 65 million years ago during the upper Cretaceous Period. The species Tyrannosaurus rex (rex meaning "king" in Latin), commonly abbreviated to T. rex, is one of the most well-represented of the large theropods.

Quotes[edit]

Withstanding a Tyrannosaurus's attack required either tanklike armor - the approach taken by Ankylosaurus - or most powerful defensive weapons - the approach taken by Triceratops. - Robert T. Bakker
We have as much evidence that T. rex was feathered, at least during some stage of its life, as we do that australopithecines like Lucy had hair. - Mark Norell
  • The scene has been portrayed in paintings, drawings, and illustrations hundreds of times, but it remains thrilling. Tyrannosaurus, the greatest dinosaur toreador, confronts Triceratops, the greatest set of dinosaur horns. No matchup between predator and prey has ever been more drammatic. It's somehow fitting that those two massive antagonists lived out their co-evolutionary belligerence through the very last days of the very last epoch in the Age of Dinosaurs. Tyrannosaurus stood over twenty feet tall when fully erect, and a large adult was as heavy as a small elephant - five tons. No predatory dinosaur, no predatory land animal of any sort, had more powerful jaws. Withstanding a Tyrannosaurus's attack required either tanklike armor - the approach taken by Ankylosaurus - or most powerful defensive weapons - the approach taken by Triceratops.
    • Robert T. Bakker (1986), The Dinosaur Heresies: A Revolutionary View of Dinosaurs, Longman Scientific & Technical, p. 240-241
  • The rex bite is unique among better known dinosaurs. Instead of inflicting a long, shallow wound, rex jaws would thrust a few crowns deep into bone armor, killing a Triceratops with a single blow. We see close-linked co-evolution here, a terminal Cretaceous arms race. Triceratops is the commonest horned dino of the time, the final dinosaurian Age, the Lancian. T’tops departs from the ceratopsian tradition of frill construction. Torosaurus, very rare during the Lancian Age of the Cretaceous, retains that basic design: the frill is composed of thin bone rods that make a frame, with huge holes in the middle. Triceratops fills in the holes with greatly thickened bone. Why would Triceratops invest in five times as much bone volume in its frill? Well…to me the answer is obvious. Because the commonest predator has evolved great, armor-penetrating teeth. The argument goes in the other direction – T. rex evolved swollen, tall tooth crowns to deal with the unusual protection of the commonest horned herbivore.
  • Come molti hanno sottolineato, ormai Tyrannosaurus rex ha travalicato i confini della pura ricerca scientifica, imponendosi come icona post-moderna e geomitologia. Ciò lo rende immune della normale critica scientifica, per questo risulta così inattaccabile, quasi sacro. Nessuno vorrebbe abbandonare il mitico Tyrannosaurus rex per l'oscuro Manospondylus gigas. Cosa dovremmo fare? Distruggere il nostro mito per accettare il rigore scientifico che impone di sostituire un nome con quello cronologicamente prioritario?
  • As many have pointed out, Tyrannosaurus rex has now ascended from the limits of pure scientific research and imposed itself as a postmodern, geomythological icon. This renders it immune to standard scientific criticism, thus making it unassailable, almost sacred. No one wants to abandon the legendary Tyrannosaurus rex for the obscure Manospondylus gigas. What should we do? Destroy our myth in order to accept scientific rigor, which would have us substitute the current name with the one that came first?
    • Andrea Cau, Theropoda volume I: Tyrannosauroidea, Amazon Media EU S.à r.l., 2012
  • Proprio per le sue dimensioni e proporzioni limite, è probabile che non rappresenti la condizione "tipica" dei tyrannosauridi (né tanto meno degli altri tyrannosauroidi), nonostante che sia stato l'oggetto della maggioranza degli studi e delle analisi, non solo nello scheletro, ma anche nel tasso di crescita, la fisiologia, l'ecologia e la distribuzione spazio-temporale.
  • Because of its proportions and maximum size, its probable that it doesn't represent the typical tyrannosaurid (much less other tyrannosauroids), despite having been the object of the majority of studies and analyses, not just on its skeleton, but on its growth rate, its physiology, its ecology, and its spatio-temporal range.
    • Andrea Cau, Theropoda volume I: Tyrannosauroidea, Amazon Media EU S.à r.l., 2012
  • Tyrannosaurus è universalmente noto con l'intero nome specifico, Tyrannosaurus rex, fatto che lo eleva al di sopra del genere anonimato delle altre specie di fossili, quasi tutte note solo col nome generico, senza mai menzione della specie. Qualcuno cita mai Velociraptor mongoliensis? No, esiste solo "il velociraptor" (o, peggio, "il raptor").
  • Tyrannosaurus is universally known by its full specific name, Tyrannosaurus rex, a fact which elevates it above the anonymous generic labelling of other fossil species, which are almost all known only by their generic names without mention of their species. Does anyone ever talk about Velociraptor mongoliensis? No, there is only "the velociraptor" (or, worse still, "raptor").
    • Andrea Cau, Theropoda volume I: Tyrannosauroidea, Amazon Media EU S.à r.l., 2012
  • We have as much evidence that T. rex was feathered, at least during some stage of its life, as we do that australopithecines like Lucy had hair.
    • Mark Norell, as quoted by B. Keim (2012) "Giant Feathered Tyrannosaur Found in China" Wired (April 4, 2012)
  • Tyrannosaurus rex did not have 6-to-8-inch serrated teeth and an arc of D-cross-sectioned teeth set in a massive, powerful skull just to consume rotting carcasses! These were killing tools. In sharp contrast are the weak beaks and feet of vultures and condors- the only true living scavengers.
    • Gregory S. Paul (1988) Predatory Dinosaurs of the World, Simon and Schuster, p. 33
  • To a fair extent the Tyrannosaurus species are the tyrannosaur's of tyrannosaurs; they have taken to an extreme the development of skull size, strength, and power. This and the larger, more forward-pointing mid-upper jaw teeth suggest a more potent wounding ability than the albertosaur's. The stoutness of Tyrannosaurus relative to albertosaurs is readily apparent in the skeletal restorations. They are not as graceful, but they have a well-proportioned, majestic attractiveness of their own.
    • Gregory S. Paul (1988) Predatory Dinosaurs of the World, Simon and Schuster, p. 338
  • This is the theropod. Indeed, excepting perhaps Brontosaurus, this is the public's favourite dinosaur, having fought King Kong for the forced favor of Fay Wray and smashed Tokyo (with inferior special effects) in the guise of Godzilla.
    • Gregory S. Paul (1988) Predatory Dinosaurs of the World, Simon and Schuster, p. 344
  • The culmination of tyrannosaur evolution, T. rex was one of the very last North American dinosaurs. Nothing else combined its size, speed, and power. Since its demise we have had to make do with lions and tigers and bears, and other "little" mammalian carnivores.
    • Gregory S. Paul (1988) Predatory Dinosaurs of the World, Simon and Schuster, p. 346
  • Of all the organisms scientists have found in the fossil record, Tyrannosaurus rex is the most prominent ambassador for paleontology. No dinosaur hall is complete without at least some fragment of the tyrant dinosaur, and almost anything about the dinosaur is sure to get press coverage. We simply can't get enough of old T. rex.
    • Brian Switek, "Tyrannosaurus: Hyena of the Cretaceous", Smithsonian, (11 March, 2011)
  • I would be thrilled if palaeontologists discovered compelling evidence that tyrannosaurs were social hunters. A trackway preserving the footsteps of several individuals moving in the same direction at the same time would be excellent. But until then, tableaus of tyrannosaur families dining together must remain tantalisingly speculative parts of prehistory.
    • Brian Switek, "A bunch of bones doesn't make a gang of bloodthirsty tyrannosaurs", The Guardian, (25 July, 2011)

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