Tyrannosaurus ( or , meaning 'tyrant lizard') from the Greek words τυράννος (tyrannos, meaning "tyrant") and σαύρος' (sauros, meaning "lizard"), is a genus of theropod dinosaur. The species Tyrannosaurus rex ('rex' meaning 'king' in Latin), commonly abbreviated to T. rex, is a fixture in popular culture. It lived throughout what is now western North America, with a much wider range than other tyrannosaurids. Fossils are found in a variety of rock formations dating to the last two million years of the Cretaceous Period, 67 to 65.5 million years ago. It was among the last non-avian dinosaurs to exist prior to the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event.
Like other tyrannosaurids, Tyrannosaurus was a biped carnivore with a massive skull balanced by a long, heavy tail. Relative to the large and powerful hindlimbs, Tyrannosaurus forelimbs were small, though unusually powerful for their size, and bore two clawed digits. Although other theropods rivaled or exceeded Tyrannosaurus rex in size, it was the largest known tyrannosaurid and one of the largest known land predators, measuring up to in length, up to tall at the hips, and up to in weight. By far the largest carnivore in its environment, Tyrannosaurus rex may have been an apex predator, preying upon hadrosaur and ceratopsia, although some experts have suggested it was primarily a scavenger. The debate over Tyrannosaurus as apex predator or scavenger is among the longest running debates in paleontology.
More than 30 specimens of Tyrannosaurus rex have been identified, some of which are nearly complete skeletons. Soft tissue and protein have been reported in at least one of these specimens. The abundance of fossil material has allowed significant research into many aspects of its biology, including life history and biomechanics. The feeding habits, physiology and potential speed of Tyrannosaurus rex are a few subjects of debate. Its taxonomy is also controversial, with some scientists considering Tarbosaurus bataar from Asia to represent a second species of Tyrannosaurus and others maintaining Tarbosaurus as a separate genus. Several other genera of North American tyrannosaurids have also been synonymized with Tyrannosaurus.
Tyrannosaurus rex was one of the largest land carnivores of all time; the largest complete specimen, FMNH PR2081 ("Sue"), measured long, and was tall at the hips. with most modern estimates ranging between . Although Tyrannosaurus rex was larger than the well known Jurassic theropod Allosaurus, it was slightly smaller than some other Cretaceous carnivores, such as Spinosaurus and Giganotosaurus.
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