Daspletosaurus attacking a horned dinosaur


The name Tyrannosaurus rex or 'tyrant lizard king' would have been equally appropriate for Daspletosaurus. This terrifying tyrannosaur preceded T-rex by ten million years, being top of the food chain in North America's vast flood plains 75 million years ago. A formidable predator, it was nine metres long and weighed as much as three tonnes.

Like the tyrannosaurs that were to follow, it relied on smell and hearing as much as sight. Bite marks in Daspletosaurus skulls suggest they fought each other over food, territory or dominance in a group. A remarkable discovery of a group of Daspletosaurus near some Hadrosaurs raised some interesting questions. Did these tyrannosaurs hunt in packs or come together to feast on the carcasses?

Scientific name: Daspletosaurus

Rank: Genus

Common names:

frightful lizard

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