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Tyrannosarus Rex: Factfile

The King of the Dinosaurs is actually very different from its on screen portrayal in Jurassic Park. Here’s the top 5 facts on the huge carnivore.

1. It may have been more a scavenger rather than a predator
Debate still rages whether the dinosaur was in fact a scavenger rather than a killing machine as portrayed in film. The main reason for this doubt, are the dinosaur’s feeble forearm which may have been too small to grip prey. In contrast, the t-rex had excellent speed, tough jaws and good eyesight for hunting.

2. Was it even the apex predator?
Although often portrayed as the ‘King of the dinosaurs’, several carnivorous were larger and more ferocious than the Tyrannosaur. These were:

Spinosarous:

Giganotosaurus

Carcharodontosaurus

3. ‘Rex’ was only one of many Tyrannosaurs
There were many other dinosaurs in the Tyrannosaur gene including ‘Dilong’ and ‘Albertosaurus’.

A side image of 'Sue', the most complete T-Rex skeleton ever found
A side image of ‘Sue’, the most complete T-Rex skeleton ever found

4. Was it feathered?
Many of the famous dinosaurs such as the velociraptor were actually covered in feathers. Research has theorised that T-Rex may also have been in this category. Experts know that dinosaurs gradually developed into birds and the T-red may have had feathers in its early years.

Another image of 'Sue'
Another image of ‘Sue’

5. Ok let’s cut to the chase, what’s up with the short arms?

Despite extended debates and prolonged research, no one is still 100 per cent sure why T-Rex had such puny arms. The teensy limbs couldn’t reach its mouth so what they could be used for? Here’s some possibilities:

1. Help the dinosaur lift itself off the floor if it fell
2. Used during mating
3. Grasp prey
4. Make nests
5. caring its young

The T Rex on the Jurassic Park film set
The T Rex on the Jurassic Park film set

Tyrannosaurus basics:

Habitat: Western North America
Period lived: Cretaceous period (66 million years ago)
Length: 13m (42ft)
Weight: 7 tons
Tooth size: 30cm (12 in)
Top running speed An estimated 40km/h (25mph)

A T-Rex from the second Jurassic Park film, the Lost World
A T-Rex from the second Jurassic Park film, the Lost World