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Tyrannosaurus, from the Ancient Greek tyrannos (τύραννος), "tyrant", and sauros (σαῦρος), "lizard"[1]) is a genus of coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur. 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. Tyrannosaurus lived throughout what is now western North America, which then was an island continent named Laramidia. Tyrannosaurus had a much wider range than other tyrannosaurids. Fossils are found in a variety of rock formations dating to the Maastrichtian age of the upper Cretaceous Period, 68 to 66 million years ago.[2] It was among the last non-avian dinosaurs to exist before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.

Like other tyrannosaurids, Tyrannosaurus was a bipedal carnivore with a massive skull balanced by a long, heavy tail. Relative to its large and powerful hind limbs, Tyrannosaurus fore limbs were short but unusually powerful for their size and had two clawed digits. Although other theropods rivaled or exceeded Tyrannosaurus rex in size, it was the largest known tyrannosaurid and one of the largest known land predators. In fact, the most complete specimen measures up to 12.3 m (Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character "{".Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unexpected < operator.×10{{rnd/0Expression error: Unexpected < operator.|12.3*1/0.3048|(Script error)}} ft) in length,[3] up to Template:Convert/LoffAoffDbSoff tall at the hips,[4] and up to Template:Convert/MT in weight.[5] By far the largest carnivore in its environment, Tyrannosaurus rex may have been an apex predator, preying upon hadrosaurs, ceratopsians, and possibly sauropods,[6] although some experts have suggested the dinosaur was primarily a scavenger. The debate about whether Tyrannosaurus was an apex predator or scavenger was among the longest ongoing feud in paleontology; however, most scientists now agree that Tyrannosaurus rex was an opportunistic carnivore, acting as both a predator and a scavenger.[7] It is estimated to be capable of exerting one of the largest bite forces among all terrestrial animals.[8][9]

More than 50 specimens of Tyrannosaurus rex have been identified, some of which are nearly complete skeletons. Soft tissue and proteins have been reported in at least one of these specimens. The abundance of fossil material has allowed significant research into many aspects of its biology, including its life history and biomechanics. The feeding habits, physiology and potential speed of Tyrannosaurus rex are a few subjects of debate. Its taxonomy is also controversial, as some scientists consider Tarbosaurus bataar from Asia to be a second species of the Tyrannosaurus and others maintaining the Tarbosaurus is a separate genus of dinosaur. Several other genera of North American tyrannosaurids have also been synonymized with Tyrannosaurus.

  1. Tyrannosaurus. Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. (2002) "Magnetostratigraphy and geochronology of the Hell Creek and basal Fort Union Formations of southwestern North Dakota and a recalibration of the Cretaceous–Tertiary Boundary" (PDF). Geological Society of America Special Papers 361: 35–55. 
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Hutchinsonet.al.2011
  4. Sue's vital statistics. Sue at the Field Museum. Field Museum of Natural History. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved on September 15, 2007.
  5. (2004) "Gigantism and comparative life-history parameters of tyrannosaurid dinosaurs". Nature 430 (7001): 772–775. doi:10.1038/nature02699. PMID 15306807. 
  6. Switeck, Brian (April 13, 2012). When Tyrannosaurus Chomped Sauropods. Smithsonian Media. Retrieved on August 24, 2013.
  7. Hutchinson, John (July 15, 2013). Tyrannosaurus rex: predator or media hype?. What's in John's Freezer?. Retrieved on August 26, 2013.
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named MM03
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named bs

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