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the "frightful reptile" of the late Cretaceous Period, about 75 million years ago


A smaller relative of Tyrannosaurus rex, Daspetosaurus averaged 35 feet in length, stood about 12 feet high, and weighed about 6000 pounds. Like its cousins, it had four taloned toes on each hind foot, although only three of them touched ground, and relatively short front limbs, each of which had two fingers. The massive skull was about three feet long and held six dozen long, sharp teeth. A long, heavy tail served as a counterweight to the skull.



The sharp teeth and massive skull, with prominent jaw muscle attachment sites, mean that Daspletosaurus was a carnivore, although it is unknown whether it was a hunter or scavenger, or both.

Fossil History

The only named Daspletosaurus fossil was found in Alberta, Canada, in 1921, by Charles Mortram Sternberg, although other as yet unconfirmed fossils have been found in Montana. The type species was first described and named by Dale Russell in 1970.

Scientific Classification

phylum Chordata
subphylum Vertebrata
class Archosauria
order Saurischia
suborder Theropoda
infraorder Coelurosauria
family Tyrannosauridae
genus & species Daspletosaurus torosus

Tyrannosaurus rex

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The Robinson Library >> Science >> Geology >> Paleontology

This page was last updated on 06/15/2017.