After Aletopelta, Alioramus is the next one in line alphabetically. In this article on Alioramus facts, we are going to learn a few things about this dinosaur. Trust us, this species is quite interesting and this set of Alioramus facts here will not disappoint you.
So, let us get started!
Scientific Classification of Alioramus
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Clade: Dinosauria
- Clade: Saurischia
- Family: Tyrannosauridae
- Tribe: Alioramini
- Genus: Alioramus
- Type Species: Alioramus remotus
- Species: A. altai, and A. remotus
Okay, now that we have the classification in place, let us take a quick look at some of the basic information about this genus of dinosaurs.
Lived: 70 to 65 million years ago
Historical Period: Late Cretaceous
Size: About 6 meters or 20 feet
Weight: 500 to 1000 pounds
After the basic information, it is time for the facts. So, let us begin…
Alioramus Facts: 1-10
1. The name Alioramus comes from Greek and it means ‘different branch.’
2. The pronunciation is AH-lee-oh-RAY-muss.
3. Alioramus lived in the woodlands of Asia in the area which is now Mongolia.
4. The remains of the type species A. remotus was found in the Mongolian sediments.
5. A. remotus was described and named by Sergei Kurzanov in the year 1976. He was a Russian paleontologist.
6. Initially, paleontologists believed that the dinosaur was a medium-sized tyrannosaur and was closely related to Tarbosaurus – another meat-eating dinosaur from Asia.
7. They believed that though the Alioramus was closely related to Tarbosaurus, it was quite different in terms of size as well as the crests that ran along its snout.
8. On the other hand, some paleontologists thought that the Alioramus was none other than a juvenile Tarbosaurus.
9. Some even thought that it was not a tyrannosaur at all and that it was a completely different kind of a carnivore theropod. This explains the name Alioramus which is Greek for ‘different branch.’
10. All the fighting came to an end when in 2001 a new species called A. altai was found. A. altai proved that Alioramus was not anywhere close to Tarbosaurus.
Alioramus Facts: 11-20
11. What made people believe that Alioramus was not related to Tarbosaurus? A careful study of the fossil specimen of A. altai showed that the skull bones of the creature had started fusing proving that it was a sub-adult.
12. Because the specimen was a sub-adult, it was clear that it was reaching its maximum size and was still nowhere close to Tarbosaurus’ size!
13. Another observation that settled the overall dispute was that Alioramus had way more teeth compared to both juvenile and adult Tarbosaurus.
14. Finally, Alioramus had a series of 5 crests on its snout. This unique characteristic was completely absent in Tarbosaurus.
15. Proper analysis of only known limb remains of the only specimen of A. altai revealed that the lower limb segments were proportionately longer.
16. Since the specimen was a near-adult, the proportionately longer lower limb segment indicates that Alioramus was nimble and quick relative to other medium-sized or large-sized Tyrannosauridae family members.
17. Experts also hold the opinion that the slender build of the Alioramus made it a niche hunter. It hunted those dinosaurs that were too fast for the Tarbosaurus to catch.
18. Yet another thing that reinforces that notion about Alioramus’ hunting habits is the larger number of teeth that are relatively evenly spaced. The teeth arrangement allowed the Alioramus to hunt fast unarmored prey because the particular arrangement of teeth would have allowed a greater area for seizing and controlling the prey.
19. Even the skull of the Alioramus is narrow. This too indicated that the Alioramus went for softer unarmored flesh because the narrow skull meant weaker biting muscles.
20. There is yet another unique observation. The Alioramus lived in the same area as the Tarbosaurus following a trend of a gracile species and a robust species crossing territories. There are other such examples prevalent in the tyrannosauroid genera. The two clear examples are:
- Gorgosaurus (slender or gracile) and Daspletosaurus (robust) during the Campanian age of Late Cretaceous.
- Albertosaurus (slender or gracile) and Tyrannosaurus (robust) during the Maastrichtian age of Late Cretaceous.
Alioramus Facts: 21-30
21. The Alioramus had 5 crests running along its snout. These crests were 1 centimeter high.
22. Some say that the crests were there for sexual reasons. The ones with most-developed crest ridges were perhaps far more sexually attractive.
23. Yet another possible reason for the existence of those crests is that the crests allowed the Alioramus to distinguish between its own genera and Tarbosaurus juveniles that looked nearly the same.
24. The Alioramus was about six meters or 20 feet long, making it nearly half the size of the larger Tarbosaurus.
25. The fossils of both the species of Alioramus were found in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert’s Nemegt Formation.
26. Interestingly, when the Alioramus lived, Mongolia was a humid and fairly wet place with seasonal rains. The region had lakes, rivers, floodplains, and araucarian pine forests.
27. Though A. altai was found in 2001, it was named in 2009 and the full description was published in 2012. A. altai was named and also described by Stephen L. Brusatte and colleagues.
28. Using growth rings (layers of bones), researchers have estimated that the Alioramus was about half the size of a T. Rex of the same age.
29. Alioramus had a total of 76 or 78 teeth – more than any other known tyrannosaurid.
30. Of all the known tyrannosaurines, Alioramus along with Teratophoneus was the smallest!
That concludes our list of Alioramus facts. Did you like them? Let us know through the comments section! While we will write about all dinosaurs discovered so far, if you want us to prioritize any particular one, do let us know.