Tyrannosaurus Rex Facts for Kids
The Tyrannosaurus Rex is one of the most widely known dinosaurs in the world. Even though these creatures existed millions of years ago, they are still one of the most commonly recognized dinosaurs that play a crucial role in popular culture.
In this article, we’ll walk you through a list of interesting facts about the t-rex, from how long its arms were to whether it was a social animal or not!
Let’s get into it.
12 Interesting Tyrannosaurus Rex Facts
1. The earliest T-rex specimens were discovered over two centuries ago.
Even though we now know dinosaurs existed millions of years ago, humans first discovered the first t-rex fossils in Colorado in the second half of the 19th century. A geologist named Arthur Lakes first found some T-rex teeth in 1874, and a few years later, a fossil hunter named John Bell Hatcher found some bones and cartilage from a T-rex’s head. As the years went by, more and more scientists and paleontologists discovered additional fragments from the skeletons of the Tyrannosaurus Rex in various parts of America. Some scientists initially thought that their fossil discoveries indicated that the dinosaurs were part of the ceratopsid family, but further evidence suggested that they discovered the T-Rex.
2. The tyrannosaurus rex was one of the largest carnivores on earth in recorded history
While we think of large creatures, we tend to think of blue whales or elephants. However, after extensive research and study, scientists have since discovered that the t-rex was one of the largest carnivores on earth during its time. It was over 40 feet long and 13 feet tall and weighed over eight metric tons. Even though researchers have discovered smaller and lighter tyrannosaurus rex skeletons that indicated their size, the t-rex is still considered one of the largest creatures ever to walk the earth.
3. Studies show that the female tyrannosaurus rex was bigger than the male
Though it might shock some people, researchers have discovered that female t-rexes were larger than their male counterparts. While we cannot confirm this fact with physical evidence, researchers found that females were bigger than males after putting fossils together. The female t-rex had larger hipbones than the males, indicating that they weighed several more pounds than the males. The females might have had bigger hips to accommodate the clutches of eggs they carried. Since the t-rex was one of the biggest creatures on the planet, we know that the females needed extra strength to carry large eggs around in their bodies; they also required strength to push the eggs out. Researchers have also suggested that the females weighed more because they were better at hunting than the males.
4. The T-Rex had short and strong arms
Even though we sometimes make fun of the tyrannosaurus for its short arms, studies have shown their arms were very strong. The t-rex had very short arms that were only about 3.3 feet long and seemed disproportionate to the rest of its body. However, scientists believe that even though their arms were very short, their bones’ density indicated several areas for muscular growth. Therefore, this means that though their arms were short, they were muscular and strong enough to help the t-rex hunt and kill its prey.
5. Scientists believe that the tyrannosaurus was not a fast runner.
While we don’t have any concrete proof or evidence to back up this theory, researchers believe that the t-rex was not a fast runner when considering its body size and weight. Since this creature had hollow bones, they determined that its body would have carried a smaller physical load, and therefore, it wouldn’t have been able to run quickly. In the early research stages, scientists proposed the idea that the t-rex would have been able to run nine to twenty meters per second, but this theory was put to rest after some time. This is because researchers theorized that the tyrannosaurus was a heavy dinosaur with a bulky body, therefore rendering it unable to move at rapid speeds.
6. The tyrannosaurus might have been a fast walker
Even though these dinosaurs weren’t fast runners, a study in 2020 proposed that they might have been fast walkers instead. The study compared several physical characteristics of over 70 dinosaur species. These characteristics included body mass, the dinosaurs’ leg proportions, and stride. The researchers then went on to observe how each dinosaur might have walked in various situations and tested various walking speeds. They eventually concluded that the tyrannosaurus likely walked faster and more efficiently than some of its peers, especially when scavenging or hunting for food.
7. The tyrannosaurus had heightened senses.
Since the t-rex was a carnivorous predator, researchers believe that its heightened senses made it hunt and catch prey efficiently. A 2009 study conducted by Ryan Ridgely and Lawrence Witmer deduced that the t-rex had heightened senses, as indicated by its rapid head and eye movements and powerful sense of smell. They also deduced that the t-rex could detect sounds in a lower frequency than other dinosaurs of its clade, and its hearing abilities helped it detect prey from a large distance away.
8. The tyrannosaurus was a social animal.
While we will never know for sure, scientists believe that the t-rex was a social animal that hunted in packs with its peers. The reasoning behind this statement is that over a decade ago, researchers discovered three tyrannosaurus skeletons together in South Dakota. The distance between each skeleton was small, leading the researchers to believe that these creatures were hunting for food together in a pack before they were killed by natural forces. Another reason that researchers believed that these dinosaurs hunted in packs was because another group of t-rex skeletons were discovered in British Columbia. The placement of these skeletons in the ground and the direction that they faced led researchers to believe that the dinosaurs were traveling together in a group, presumably to hunt for prey.
9. The tyrannosaurus was both a scavenger and hunter
Just like many carnivores in the 21 century, the t-rex was also a hunter and scavenger. Researchers believe that this dinosaur was an apex predator, meaning that it existed at the top of the food chain and preyed on its fellow dinosaurs. It had large teeth, indicating that its bite was large and powerful. It most likely stole food, and it might have spent a significant amount of time hunting food. However, paleontologists often debate about whether these creatures were pure predators or scavengers, with many believing that they were a combination of the two.
10. The tyrannosaurus might have been a cannibal.
Since these dinosaurs were carnivores that likely preyed on their fellow dinosaurs, researchers believe there is a chance that they exhibited cannibalistic behavior at times. A study conducted several years ago discovered that a separate t-rex showed signs of another t-rex’s tooth marks. The teeth marks were on the dinosaur’s feet. If they were fighting each other, it would have been hard for the more dominant tyrannosaurus to bend down and bite the other’s foot. Therefore, since the bite marks were found on unusual spots, researchers believed that they engaged in cannibalism instead.
11. The tyrannosaurus likely died of natural causes
Before dinosaurs became extinct, researchers believe that these creatures died of natural causes. Since they were apex predators that lived at the top of the food chain and other creatures feared, they didn’t have predators of their own. As a result, we can safely say that they died as a result of natural causes. Researchers also believe that the average tyrannosaurus lived to be about 28 to 30 years old.
12. The tyrannosaurus was a bipedal dinosaur.
Just like many of its fellow dinosaurs, the t-rex was a bipedal dinosaur that walked upright on its two legs. We believe that its tail dragged on the ground and its body stood at an angle of about 45 degrees.
In this article, we walked you through a list of interesting facts about the Tyrannosaurus, a dinosaur that is arguably the most popular of its kind in modern culture. While we will never fully be able to understand everything about these creatures, scientists and researchers work tirelessly every day to make sense of what they left behind. We hope this article helped you!