The Tyrannosaurus Rex, or commonly called the T. Rex, is often the creature that comes to mind when most people think of dinosaurs. The reasons for this are simple, it is an iconic creature whose image and reputation allows it to be recognized long after its time on Earth has ended. What makes the animal so easily recognizable is its great size, and ferocious appearance.
The Tyrannosaurus Rex could measure up to 40 feet long, and estimates for its weight vary between 4.5 to 7.2 metric tons. This makes this fearsome predator one of the largest carnivores to have ever walked the Earth, and has ensured its continued presence in popular culture. Despite having been extinct for many millions of years modern science has allowed us the ability to learn quite a bit about the Tyrannosaurus Rex. When you look at all that has been discovered about its size, appearance, eating habits, and overall behavior it quickly becomes apparent that the Tyrannosaurus Rex was easily one of the most fearsome predators of all time.
The Tyrannosaurus Rex belonged to a super class of Dinosaurs called Tyrannosauroidea, in fact when Paleontologists are deciding if a Dinosaur belongs in this class they most often use the Tyrannosaurus Rex as the model to compare it to. Historically the Tyrannosaurus Rex was often depicted as standing upright, however we can now say with relative certainty that this was an animal that had a very pronounced forward leaning posture. It had a massive skull giving it incredible bite power, and in order to counter balance the weight of its skull it leaned forward and used its tail as a counter weight.
One of the most easily recognizable features of the Tyrannosaurus Rex were its incredibly small arms. When compared to the rest of its body its arms were very small. However despite their small size they were very strong and were most likely used to help the animal rise when resting, and also to grasp onto prey. There is an ongoing debate as to whether or not the Tyrannosaurus Rex had feathers as many of its relatives did, sadly there is no evidence to support either side of the debate. Perhaps the most hotly contested subject about the Tyrannosaurus Rex was its life style.
Was this great animal a predator, or a scavenger? Traditionally it was assumed that given its appearance it was most certainly an apex predator. However many scientists question whether it could have been a successful hunter given its size and body type. The Tyrannosaurus Rex was most likely not the fastest of animals, however its huge size and highly developed sense of smell would allow it to be an effective scavenger that could have chased off most of its possible competition.
The Tyrannosaurus Rex was a fearsome and powerful dinosaur lived and thrived during the Cretaceous Period. Its skeletal remains have been found all across North America helping to paint a picture of an animal that was highly successful. Having firmly established itself as one of the largest and most successful carnivores of all time, the Tyrannosaurus Rex will surely continue to be a subject of awe and admiration for years to come.