Tyrannosaurus (// or //; meaning "tyrant lizard", from Greek tyrannos (τύραννος) meaning "tyrant," and sauros (σαῦρος) meaning "lizard") is a genus of coelurosaurian 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, which then was an island continent that was named Laramidia, with a much wider range than other tyrannosaurids. Fossils are found in a variety of rock formations dating to the Maastrichtian age of the upper Cretaceous Period, 67 to 66 million years ago. It was among the last non-avian dinosaurs to exist before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.
Like other tyrannosaurids, Tyrannosaurus was a bipedal carnivore with a massive skull balanced by a long, heavy tail. Relative to its large and powerful hindlimbs, Tyrannosaurus forelimbs were small but were 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; the most complete specimen measures up to 12.3 m (40 ft) in length, up to 4 metres (13 ft) tall at the hips, and up to 6.8 metric tons (7.5 short tons) in weight. By far the largest carnivore in its environment, Tyrannosaurus rex may have been an apex predator, preying upon hadrosaurs, ceratopsians, and possibly sauropods, although some experts have suggested it was primarily a scavenger. The debate about whether Tyrannosaurus was an apex predator or scavenger was among the longest running in paleontology; however, most scientists now agree that Tyrannosaurus rex was an opportunistic carnivore, both predating and scavenging.
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