Dino News and Opinions: Beyond the T. rex

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When large predatory dinosaurs come to mind, many people probably think of Tyrant Saurus Rex first, and there is nothing wrong with this. Tyrant Saurus Rex It was the first truly giant carnivorous dinosaur to be discovered from good remains, and it became an icon thanks to museums, pop culture, and its own natural charisma.

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However, there are several other carnivorous dinosaurs that came and went around the world before. Tyrant Saurus Rex. Some of these approached the great tyrant in length and mass, while others may even have exceeded him. Despite the popularity of large and terrifying dinosaurs, many of these other giant predators are still somewhat unknown.

First, Tyrant Saurus Rex It was not the only large member of the tyrannosaurus family in the late Cretaceous period. While comparatively medium-sized species like Albertosaurus and Daspletosaurus they were a respectable 8 meters long, Asian species like Tarbosaurus and Zhuchengtyrannus may have reached about 12 meters in length, not far from Tyrant Saurus Rex a little more than 12 meters maximum. That said, they were less bulky in comparison, with Tarbosaurus weighing in at around 4-5 metric tons, with the largest rex exceeding 8 tons.

Go back a little further in time to the first half of the Cretaceous and you will find a line of giant carnivores of true killers. One group of particular interest is the Carcharodontosauridae family, the “shark-toothed reptiles.” These predators were not closely related to tyrannosaurs and belonged to a different branch of the theropod dinosaur tree. Carchorodontosaurs had blade-shaped teeth with sharp cutting edges, unlike the crushing teeth of tyrannosaurs. Many of these come from South America and include species such as Mapusaurus, Tyrannotitan, and Giganotosaurus. All three of these dinosaurs exceeded Tyrant Saurus Rex in length and Giganotosaurus, the largest of the lot, may have exceeded Tyrant Saurus Rex by weight as well. There was also Carcharodontosaurus from North Africa, which was comparable in size to the South American giants. Slightly smaller, but still not lagging behind in any way, was the crested-backed predator. Acrocanthosaurus that haunted North America in the early Cretaceous.

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While the huge carcharodontosaurs easily rivaled Tyrant Saurus Rex In size, one thing they were not up to par was the force of the bite. While the bites of these carnosaurs could certainly have caused a lot of damage, the blunt snouts and fused jaw bones of the tyrannosaurs were highly specialized to deliver crushing bites rather than strictly cutting and piercing.

The last but far from the least example of carnivorous giants is certainly less obscure to the public than the Mapusaurus or Acrocanthosaurus, but it is arguably more mysterious. Between the coastal mangroves and the swamps of North Africa of the middle Cretaceous lived Spinosaurus. This sail-backed giant, with its long snout and conical teeth, likely fed on the giant fish that lived in estuaries and rivers at the time, as well as potentially some land animals. Spinosaurus actually coexisted with Carcharodontosaurus, which certainly makes thinking about this particular time and place quite scary. There has been no end to controversy and discussion about the exact size, shape, and lifestyle of Spinosaurus over the years, and there are few better ways to start a heated debate among dinosaur fans than simply mentioning the name of Spinosaurus around a group of them.

Regardless of your thoughts on this dinosaur, Spinosaurus It is often cited as a likely candidate for the longest and heaviest theropod dinosaur known to science, which can reach up to 11 tons and 18 meters long. The amount of uncertainty surrounding this species is largely due to the fact that a single and fairly complete specimen has yet to be described, and paleontologists have had to reconstruct the dinosaur from several partial specimens. The fact that the first fossils of this dinosaur collected were bombed to ruin in WWII does not help at all.

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Other members of the spinosaur family such as Suchomimus and Baryonyx it grew to respectable sizes, rivaling some tyrannosaurs in length, if not weight. Two very fragmentary spinosaurids, Oxalaia and Sigilmassasaurus, may have grown almost as big as Spinosaurus itself, although some paleontologists argue that both actually represent Spinosaurus it remains.

As you can see, the Cretaceous Period was a time of giant carnivores from start to finish. And while Tyrant Saurus Rex might not stand out in size compared to these other species, it still has the distinction of being the latest giant predatory dinosaur to live. I don’t know about you, but that seems appropriate to me.

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