Tyrannosaurus Rex or the T. Rex was an aberration of the dinosaur world. When we talk of dinosaurs, the fame of T. Rex precedes every other dinosaur that ever lived on the face of this earth. The very thought of this massive and ferocious creature gives us chills and of course, some Hollywood movies have taken that fear to epic level. Lucky that we don’t have dinosaurs today. Let us waste time no further and find out 30 interesting Tyrannosaurus Rex facts. We are pretty darn sure that you will love these facts!
At a Glance
Lived: In a period between 67 and 65 million years ago
Species: Tyrannosaurus Rex
Size: 40 feet long and 15-20 feet tall
Interesting Tyrannosaurus Rex Facts: 1-10
1. The word ‘Tyrannosaurus’ literally means ‘Tyrant Lizard’ in Greek. Well, that pretty much tells all the story about its vicious nature. The term Rex however is Latin and means King. So, T. Rex was a tyrant lizard king.
2. T. Rex lived somewhere in the period between 67 million years ago and 65 million years ago. That’s the time frame of Maastrichtian age which belonged to the Cretaceous Period belonging to the end-Mesozoic Era.
3. Tyrannosaurus Rex belonged to the group of last non-avian (or non-aerial) dinosaurs that went extinct during the K-T Extinction or the Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction, which by far remains the most famous mass extinction event on this planet till date.
4. The landmass that today forms the Western Northern America was the home for T. Rex back in time. At that time, the landmass actually formed an island continent that we humans have named as Laramidia.
5. As per reports of National Geographic, till date, 50+ T. Rex skeletons have been found. Many of these are almost complete skeletons and at least one of the skeletons had proteins and soft tissues attached.
6. The first ever T. Rex fossil that was unearthed was in 1902. Though the skeleton was incomplete, it was the first record of existence of T. Rex. The credit for this discovery goes to Barnum Brown. He found the skeleton in Hell Creek Formation’s Montana portion.
7. Mr. Brown later sold the skeleton to Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History. However, that was not the only T. Rex find of Mr. Brown. He found another one, also from Hell Creek Formation. His second find is today displayed in New York’s American Museum of Natural History.
8. The first ever recorded footprint of T. Rex was found in 1993 in New Mexico. Another footprint was found in Hell Creek in 2007 but that is yet to be confirmed as T. Rex’s footprint. If confirmed, it will be the second T. Rex footprint ever found.
9. The most complete skeleton of Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found is today known as Sue. Well, this unusual name for a dinosaur comes from the person who discovered the skeleton. It was paleontologist Sue Hendrickson.
10. Of all land animals that ever lived on this planet, Tyrannosaurus Rex was the one with the strongest bite. One bite of the tyrant lizard delivered 57,000 Newtons or 12,814 pounds-force!
Interesting Tyrannosaurus Rex Facts: 11-20
11. The mouth of Tyrannosaurus Rex was blessed with serrated teeth. The largest T. Rex tooth ever found is 12 inches or 30 centimeters long. Well, that’s the largest tooth ever discovered for any predator or carnivore dinosaur.
12. A study was published in Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences were it was revealed that different teeth in a T. Rex’s mouth had different function. As per the study, front teeth of the tyrant lizard were meant for pulling and gripping. The side teeth did the job of tearing flesh while the back teeth were meant for dicing meat chunks and pushing them down the throat.
13. The teeth of T. Rex were not dagger-like and flat. They were canonical and wide, which according to the study (mentioned above) was a deliberate design of nature to help the tyrant lizard withstand the force that a struggling prey usually delivered.
14. As far as food habit of the Tyrannosaurus Rex was concerned, it’s favorite meals were Triceratops and Edmontosaurus – two benign and unfortunate herbivore species of the same era. According to experts, T. Rex was both a hunter and a scavenger.
15. Another very interesting of Tyrannosaurus Rex facts is that the tyrant lizard was even cannibalistic by nature. Simply put, the T. Rex was not shy of feeding on its own kind. This incredible fact came to light when T. Rex bones were found with deep gashes. These gashes were created by teeth of T. Rex. The study was published in 2010 in PLOS ONE after an analysis. However, scientists could not figure out whether the victim was eaten up after a fight to death or was just munched upon after it dropped dead for some other reason.
16. According to experts, T. Rex could eat up to 230 kilograms or 500 pounds of flesh in a single bite! Well, that’s a massive amount but that’s not the end of the terror story. Fossil records of the victims of T. Rex show evidences that the fierce carnivore crushed the bones of its victims while eating them. Even T. Rex poop has been found which has crushed bones!
17. As far as the size of this fierce predator is concerned, fossil records show that it grew up to 12 meters or 40 feet in length. At hips the tyrant lizard stood at the height of 15 feet or 20 feet (remember that the height for T. Rex is measured at hips because the predator could not stand straight).
18. Skull of Tyrannosaurus Rex grew to 5 feet in length while its jaws were 4 feet in length, giving the animal an immense bone-crushing strength.
19. Evidences show that the T. Rex had a large brain. That wasn’t common in dinosaur community. Scientists say that the extra big brain aided the killer lizard with keen smell and vision. Some experts even opine that T. Rex had excellent telescopic vision.
20. Analysis of fossils have revealed that the T. Rex could run anywhere between 17 kilometers per hour to 20 kilometers per hour (10-25 mph). However some argue that this gigantic killer dinosaur could run at a speed of up to 70 kilometers an hour.
Interesting Tyrannosaurus Rex Facts: 21- 30
21. Now here is one of the most interesting Tyrannosaurus Rex facts. T. Rex was not really the largest carnivore dinosaur that ever lived on Earth. Of course, it was the biggest within its own territory (that is today’s western Northern America).
22. There were even bigger meat eaters than T. Rex. The crown is held by Giganotosaurus of South America and Spinosaurus of northern Africa. The T. Rex typically weighed between 5 and 7 tons.
23. The Giganotosaurus at 9 tons and Spinosaurus at 10 tons beat T. Rex. Sadly, the three never faced each other to decide who was the mightiest. The three not only lived in different places but they also lived at different times.
24. One thing about T. Rex that really makes us laugh is its small forearms. We see many internet memes that ridicule the small arms of T. Rex. However, they weren’t that small. The forearms grew up to 3 feet in length and were strong enough to carry 400 pounds each!
25. Again, the T. Rex was not the only one to have funny little forearms. In fact, T. Rex is beaten in this department too! The credit for the smallest forearms goes to Carnotaurus. This guy was really comical looking with tiny nubs-like forearms.
26. T. Rex delivered septic bites. Well, dinosaurs didn’t have the charm of brushing and flossing back then and hence, according to many experts, T. Rex ended up having meat chunks stuck between its teeth. Those meat chunks sat there happily to decompose and make charming castles for some nasty bacteria colonies. When the T. Rex would bite a victim, it would deliver a septic bite. If the victim was lucky enough to escape T. Rex’s jaws, it would succumb to infection.
27. Hip shapes from existing fossils of T. Rex suggests that females were bigger in size. Possible that’s because they had to lay really big eggs or simply they were better hunters.
28. Scientists believe that Tyrannosaurus Rex lived for 30 years on an average. There is absolutely no way we can observe a T. Rex in captivity and learn about its life-span out of the wild. It is pretty logical to assume that T. Rex mostly died of old age, hunger or mutually destructive fights. It is very unlikely that other dinosaurs attacked and killed T. Rex because these tyrant lizards were on top of the food chain.
29. Tyrannosaurus Rex was bipedal. Well, the forelimbs were pretty much useless except for grabbing prey may be! The large head of the T. Rex was counter-balanced by the large and heavy tail of the animal.
30. Some experts believe that T. Rex had feather covering at some point in life, most possibly when they hatched out of the eggs. Well, this hypothesis came in because scientists have recently dug up the Dilong – the Asian feathered Tyrannosaurus.