The Tyrannosaur Rex is a predatory lizard. It is the most popular carnivore dinosaur. The family Tyrannosauroidea consist of enormous predatory lizards, including T. Rex. Archeology traces Tyrannosaurs to western North America, across Texas and Alberta. Archeological evidence of fossil remains in rock formation date to the upper Cretaceous Period and the Maastrichtian age around 66 million years ago. The tyrannosaur is the last known member of the Tyrannosaurid. Archeological evidence points out that T. Rex was the last non-avian dinosaur before Cretaceous Paleogene extinction (Live Science).
The Tyrannosaurs are the largest carnivorous dinosaurs traced and among the largest known theropods. They were entirely bipedal with small forearms. The most common characteristics of the species are the size of their arms and hands that have only two fingers. They had an extensive jaw and skull alongside an enormous tail. The complete fossil specimens indicate the animal grew up to 12.3 m long, and 3.66 m high. The animal weighed approximately 8.4 to 14 metric tons (Therrien, Henderson, 2007). Additionally, it has a record of the largest bite force among all terrestrial animals. The dinosaur had a characteristic long S-shaped neck that was prominent among theropods. The animal had a long and massive tail. The tail contained over forty vertebrae and was essential in balancing the enormous skull and torso.
Fossil remains and specimens of the Tyrannosaurs are preserved at the Field Museum of Natural History. The specimen called Sue is about 85 percent complete. Sue measures 40 ft long is 12 feet tall at the hips. Its approximate weight is about 9 tons. Other specimen remains indicate a variation of weight within a range of 8 to 14 metric tons. The length of T. Rex skull is about 1.5 meters with huge fenestrae that provided areas for muscle attachment and reduced skull weight (Live Science).
The Tyrannosaur dinosaur had some different features from those of other non-Tyrannosauroid theropods. T. Rex’s physical appearance includes a wide rear and base with a small and protruding snout. The narrow neck and the head region enhances binocular focus and vision. T. Rex has an enormous skull with fused and pneumatized bones. Fused regions prevented movement between bones. Pneumatized bones were highly flexible and lighter. The outstanding features of the skull provided for a strong jaw with potent bite force. T. rex’s upper jaw tip is U-shaped, which contrasts to the V-shape common in non-tyrannosauroid carnivores. Additionally, the animal had a complex dental formula. The front part of the upper jaw comprised premaxilla teeth with reinforcing ridges on the inside. The teeth of the upper jaw were larger than those of the lower jaw. The teeth at the back were spaced with supporting ridges around them (Hutchinson, Bates, Molnar, Allen, Makovicky, 2011).
The largest tooth specimen is approximately twelve inches long. The T. Rex Dinosaur exhibited greater mobility than any other land lizard. The king lizard originated from Asia and North America as an invasive species. The T. rex was the largest compared to other tyrannosaurs, including Zhuchengtyrannus and Tarbosaurus. Its mobility and speed stand at a range of 25-45 mph. The speed could have been essential for hunting processes (Live Science).
Figure 1: t. Rex (source: Field Museum)
Common among Tyrannosaurus was the complex and increased sensory capabilities. Scientist indicate that T-rex had intricate relativity in the rapid and coordinated eye and head movement. T. Moreover, it had enhanced sound senses capable of processing low-frequency sound making it able to trace prey from a distance. They also possessed high smell sensitivity making it possible to smell a carcass from range.
Field Museum. “SUE at the field museum,” 2018. http://archive.fieldmuseum.org/sue/?_ga=1.256723145.352611903.1414146341#exhibiting [Accessed 20 Apr. 2018].
Live Science. (2018). “Tyrannosaurus Rex: facts about T. Rex, king of the dinosaurs”, 2018. https://www.livescience.com/23868-tyrannosaurus-rex-facts.html [Accessed 20 Apr. 2018].
Hutchinson, J. R.; Bates, K. T.; Molnar, J.; Allen, V.; Makovicky, P. J. (2011). “A Computational Analysis of Limb and Body Dimensions in Tyrannosaurus rex with Implications for Locomotion, Ontogeny, and Growth”. PLoS ONE. 6 (10): e26037.
Therrien, F.; Henderson, D. M. (2007). “My theropod is bigger than yours … or not: estimating body size from skull length in theropods”. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 27(1): 108–115