(c) Joe Tucciarone
|Meaning of Name:||“tyrant lizard”|
|Period:||Period: Cretaceous (138 million to 65 million years ago)|
|Size:||10 - 14 meters long|
|Weight:||6 - 7 metric tons|
|Location:||North America and East Asia|
Although not the most ferocious or the largest, the Tyrannosaurus is considered the poster boy for bad reptilian behavior, the ultimate embodiment of the predatory carnivore. T. rex certainly ran the show during the Cretaceous Period; and as the world's favorite dinosaur, this regal beast still rules in the popular imagination.
In recent years, however, T. rex's reputation as a savage carnivore has been tarnished. Some paleontologists have argued that T. rex was not a fearless hunter but merely an ignominious scavenger—putting the creature more in the category of a hyena or vulture than king of the beasts. See news story.