A pair of Tyrannosaurus rex in a misty landscape


The family of tyrannosaurs includes the famous Tyrannosaurus rex as well as other large carnivores such as Albertosaurus and Tarbosaurus. They evolved in the late Cretaceous and their large size made them the top predators of the time. Like human beings, tyrannosaurs went through an adolescent growth spurt, increasing greatly in height and weight until they approached sexual maturity. Thereafter they grew much more slowly until they reached their final size. Tyrannosaur fossils are found in Asia and North America, through their ancestors also lived in Europe.

Scientific name: Tyrannosauridae

Rank: Family

Common names:

tyrant lizards

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Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

When they lived

Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.

Cretaceous period Cretaceous period
The Cretaceous ended with the most famous mass extinction in history - the one that killed the dinosaurs. Prior to that, it was a warm period with no ice caps at the poles.

What killed them

Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction
The Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction - also known as the K/T extinction - is famed for the death of the dinosaurs. However, many other organisms perished at the end of the Cretaceous including the ammonites, many flowering plants and the last of the pterosaurs.

BBC News about Tyrannosaurs

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