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DASPLETOSAURUS

a meat-eating tyrannosaurine theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Canada.
Pronunciation: das-PLEE-to-SOR-us
Meaning: Frightful lizard
Author/s: Russell (1970)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Alberta, Canada
Chart Position: 173

Daspletosaurus torosus

Upon discovery in 1921, Charles Mortram Sternberg thought Daspletosaurus was a new species of Gorgosaurus. However, it turned out to be unique, not only in its features and proportions but also in being the first instance of a tyrannosaur willing to share its back yard with another type of tyrannosaur. It was renamed by Dale Russell in 1970.

To coexist these two beasts must have had different hunting strategies and it has been suggested that Daspletosaurus was built to tackle the tough-as-nuts horn-faced herbivores known as ceratopsians. Although a lump smaller than its closest, later-living relative — Tyrannosaurus rex — Dapletosaurus had a similarly massive, heavily built skull, fused nasal bones for increased bite-power, long, bone-crushing teeth, a snout toughened with rugosities, and bony crests around its eyes. Its legs were shorter and more robust than other tyrannosaurs, and it had proportionately longer arms, but they were still pathetically short. Gorgosaurus was a lightweight by comparison, and probably tackled the far less fortified hadrosaurids.

Notorious lumper Gregory Paul reassigned Daspletosaurus torosus to the genus Tyrannosaurus in 1988, creating the new combination Tyrannosaurus torosus, but paleontologists didn't take a blind bit of notice.
Etymology
Daspletosaurus is derived from the Greek stems "daspleto" (frightful) and "sauros" (lizard). The species epithet, torosus, is Latin for "muscular" or "brawny".
Discovery
The first fossils of Daspletosaurus were discovered in the Oldman Formation (Judith River Group) near Steveville, Alberta, Canada, in 1921 by Charles Sternberg and named Gorgosaurus torosus.
The holotype (CMN 8506) is a partial skeleton including the skull, the shoulder, a forelimb, the pelvis, a femur and all of the vertebrae from the neck, torso and hip, as well as the first eleven tail vertebrae.
The remains of three or more individuals (suggesting gregarious behaviour) found mingled with the skeletons of at least five hadrosaurs in Montana's Two Medicine Formation in 1997 may represent a new species of Daspletosaurus.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Campanian
Age range: 80-73 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 9 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 2.8 tons
Diet: Carnivore
References
• D. A. Russell (1970) "Tyrannosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of western Canada".
• Paul, Gregory S. (1988) "Predatory Dinosaurs of the World". /uk.
• Darren H. Tanke and Philip J. Currie (1998) "Head-biting behavior in theropod dinosaurs: paleopathological evidence".
• James O. Farlow and Eric R. Pianka (2002) "Body size overlap, habitat partitioning and living space requirements of terrestrial vertebrate predators: implications for the paleoecology of large theropod dinosaurs."
• Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. (2004) "Tyrannosauroidea" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska "The Dinosauria: Second Edition". /uk.
• P.J. Currie, D. Trexler, E.B. Koppelhus, K. Wicks & N. Murphy (2005) "An unusual multi-individual tyrannosaurid bonebed in the Two Medicine Formation (Late Cretaceous, Campanian) of Montana (USA)" in "The Carnivorous Dinosaurs". /uk.
• E. Snively, D.M. Henderson & D.S. Phillips (2006) "Fused and vaulted nasals of tyrannosaurid dinosaurs: implications for cranial strength and feeding mechanics".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "DASPLETOSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 24th Apr 2017.
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