Triceratops is a genus of herbivorous ceratopsid dinosaur that first appeared during the late Maastrichtian stage of the late Cretaceous period, about 68 million years ago (mya) in what is now North America. It is one of the last known non-avian dinosaur genera, and became extinct in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago. The name Triceratops, which literally means “three-horned face”, is derived from the Ancient Greek words τρί- (tri-) meaning “three”, κέρας (kéras) meaning “horn”, and ὤψ (ōps) meaning “face”.It has been documented by numerous remains collected since the genus was first described in 1889, including at least one complete individual skeleton. Paleontologist John Scannella observed: “It is hard to walk out into the Hell Creek Formation and not stumble upon a Triceratops weathering out of a hillside.” Forty-seven complete or partial skulls were discovered in just that area from 2000 to 2010. Specimens representing life stages from hatchling to adult have been found. As the archetypal ceratopsid, Triceratops is one of the most popular dinosaurs, and has been featured in film, postal stamps, and many other types of media.
Bearing a large bony frill and three horns on its large four-legged body, and possessing similarities with the modern rhinoceros, Triceratops is one of the most recognizable of all dinosaurs and the best known ceratopsid. It shared the landscape with and was probably preyed upon by Tyrannosaurus, though it is less certain that the two did battle in the manner often depicted in traditional museum displays and popular images. The functions of the frills and three distinctive facial horns on its head have long inspired debate. Traditionally, these have been viewed as defensive weapons against predators. More recent theories, noting the presence of blood vessels in the skull bones of ceratopsids, find it more probable that these features were primarily used in identification, courtship and dominance displays, much like the antlers and horns of modern reindeer, mountain goats, or rhinoceros beetles. The theory would find additional support if Torosaurus were found to be the mature form of Triceratops, as this would mean the frill also developed holes (fenestrae) as individuals reached maturity, rendering the structure more useful for display than defense.The exact placement of the genus Triceratops within the ceratopsid group has been debated by paleontologists. Two species, T. horridus and T. prorsus, are considered valid, although many other species have been named. Research published in 2010 suggested that the contemporaneous Torosaurus, a ceratopsid long regarded as a separate genus, represents Triceratops in its mature form. The view was immediately disputed and examination of more fossil evidence is expected to settle the debate.
Tyrannosaurus is a genus of coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur. The species Tyrannosaurus rex (rex meaning “king” in Latin), often colloquially called simply T. rex or T-Rex, is one of the most well-represented of the large theropods. Tyrannosaurus lived throughout what is now western North America, on what was then an island continent known as Laramidia. Tyrannosaurus had 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, 68 to 66 million years ago. It was the last known member of the tyrannosaurids, and 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 short but unusually powerful for their size and had two clawed digits. The most complete specimen measures up to 12.3 m (40 ft) in length, up to 3.66 meters (12 ft) tall at the hips, and according to most modern estimates 8.4 metric tons (9.3 short tons) to 14 metric tons (15.4 short tons) in weight. Although other theropods rivaled or exceeded Tyrannosaurus rex in size, it is still among the largest known land predators and is estimated to have exerted the largest bite force among all terrestrial animals. By far the largest carnivore in its environment, Tyrannosaurus rex was most likely an apex predator, preying upon hadrosaurs, armoured herbivores like ceratopsians and ankylosaurs, and possibly sauropods. Some experts have suggested the dinosaur was primarily a scavenger. The question of whether Tyrannosaurus was an apex predator or a pure scavenger was among the longest debates in paleontology. Most paleontologists today accept that Tyrannosaurus was both an active predator and a scavenger.More than 50 specimens of Tyrannosaurus rex have been identified, some of which are nearly complete skeletons. Soft tissue and proteins have been reported in at least one of these specimens. The abundance of fossil material has allowed significant research into many aspects of its biology, including its life history and biomechanics. The feeding habits, physiology and potential speed of Tyrannosaurus rex are a few subjects of debate. Its taxonomy is also controversial, as some scientists consider Tarbosaurus bataar from Asia to be a second Tyrannosaurus species while others maintain Tarbosaurus is a separate genus. Several other genera of North American tyrannosaurids have also been synonymized with Tyrannosaurus.
As the archetypal theropod, Tyrannosaurus is one of the best-known dinosaurs since the 20th century, and has been featured in film, advertising, and postal stamps, as well as many other types of media.
Common name of the extinct genus Triceratops; a herbivorous ceratopsid from the late Cretaceous.
A large carnivorous dinosaur, of the genus Tyrannosaurus, found in North America during the late Cretaceous period.