One of the most well known Tyrannosaurs, Daspletosaurus has shown up in countless media outings. It was a contemporary to equally famous Albertosaurus and Gorgosaurus. Though it was similarly sized in length at 9 meters (30 feet) long, it seems to have been dominant over both other tyrannosaur cousins, and had a broader musculature at 3.8 tons. Interestingly, it appears to have been an ideal middle ground between the speed of gracile tyrannosaurs, and power in later tyrannosaurs, which likely contributed to its success as a species filling the apex predator role. It is identifiable by a compact, yet robust skull, a muscular body with longer than average arms for its family, and small horns above it’s eyes. It’s likely that Daspletosaurus hunted anything in its territory given that it was both fast enough to chase and strong enough to crush armored prey. Just like it’s later cousin Tyrannosaurus, it had a powerful sense of smell and excellent eyesight, and it could’ve tracked hadrosaur or ceratopsian herds for days at safe distance without losing the trail. It had a wide range across the western peninsula of late Cretaceous North America, being just as at home in the arid grasslands of the south as it was in the temperate woodlands and wetlands of the north.
- It is most unusual that Daspletosaurus was neighbors with Albertosaurus in the Judith River formation, and Gorgosaurus in the close by Dinosaur Park formation all being in the 8-9 meter range. They perhaps compare like lions and leopards in modern day Africa, both being big cats, but one is suited to quick prey and the other to hefty prey. All 3 tyrannosaurs were known to be pack hunters as well, so they may have had dangerous encounters with each other if they were lacking numbers. In a case of a one on one encounter, Daspletosaurus would’ve had a clear advantage.
- Many Daspletosaurus specimens have been recovered in excellent condition. This looks to be the result of a local volcanic eruption where they were smothered in a pyroclastic flow.
- Though they are known to work in packs, they would’ve been prone to frenzy at a fresh kill. Evidence exists in shattered skulls and other bones that during such a frenzy they would on occasion turn cannibalistic, killing and consuming members of their own in the chaos of the moment.
- It’s name means “Frightful Lizard.”
Would you like to see Daspletosaurus in Jurassic World: Alive?
How do you think it would be in game?
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