Tyrannosaurus Rex: Quick Facts

Updated on January 27, 2020
Larry Slawson profile image

Larry Slawson received his Masters Degree at UNC Charlotte. He specializes in Russian and Ukrainian History.

The deadly Tyrannosaurus Rex: Artistic Depiction
The deadly Tyrannosaurus Rex: Artistic Depiction

Tyrannosaurus Rex: Quick Facts

Species: Tyrannosaurus Rex (“T. Rex”)

Discovery: 1905 (Henry Fairfield Osborn)

Regional Origins: Western North America; Possibly Asia

Measurements: 13 to 14 Feet Tall (4 Meters); 40 Feet Long (12.3 Meters)

Weight: Nine Tons (8,000+ Kilograms)

Speed (Estimated): 10 to 25 m.p.h. (Possibly faster, given advances in recent research)

Lifespan: 28 Years

Feeding Habits: Carnivore; Predator and possible scavenger

Period: Cretaceous Period (Maastrichtian Era); 68 to 66 Million Years Ago

Number of Fossils Found: 50+ Specimens (Most famous, "Sue")

Skin/Appearance: Disputed (Scientists remain divided over whether or not T-Rex possessed scales, feathers, or fluff/fuzz). It is also unclear what color Tyrannosaurus's skin was. Scientists can only speculate on this matter at this time.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Clade: Dinosauria

Order: Saurischia

Suborder: Theropoda

Family: Tyrannosauridae

Subfamily: Tyrannosaurinae

Genus: Tyrannosaurus

Size Comparison

Size comparison between T-Rex and adult human.
Size comparison between T-Rex and adult human. | Source

About Tyrannosaurus Rex

Tyrannosaurus Rex was a bipedal carnivore (meaning it walked on two legs) that existed 68 to 66 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. The T-Rex was one of the largest known (land-based) carnivores/predators to have existed across time and history.

The name “Tyrannosaurus Rex” comes from a mix of Greek and Latin words. “Tyrannosaurus” (in Greek) refers to “tyrant lizard.” “Rex” (in Latin) means “king.” Tyrannosaurus measured nearly forty feet long, and stood upwards of thirteen to fourteen feet tall. This length proved vital for T-Rex as it provided stability for his (or her) large and heavy head, which measured nearly 4 to 5 feet long.

T-Rex also possessed the largest known set of teeth amongst dinosaur species, with the largest one measuring nearly 12 inches long (approximately 30 centimeters), and the rest measuring in at an impressive 8 inches. It is estimated that the T-Rex possessed up to 60 of these razor sharp teeth, which allowed Tyrannosaurus to subdue its prey with ease.

Many scientists continue to debate whether T-Rex was a scavenger or a predator. However, the presence of these large teeth, combined with T-Rex’s forward-facing eyes and head features, along with its flexible neck provide strong evidence that he was, indeed, predatory in his hunting habits. It is also believed by many scientists that T-Rex’s primary senses were centered around smell and vision, allowing him to easily locate nearby prey (a key characteristic of many modern animal species [predators] today).

In 1905, T-Rex was officially identified and named by Henry Fairfield Osborn (a paleontologist with the American Museum of Natural History).

Arm Length

Scientists continue to debate what purpose/role T-Rex's short arms played in its day-to-day life. According to palaeobiologist, Sara Burch, T-Rex likely used these arms "for grasping and stabilizing objects" (www.nature.com). It is also possible that T-Rex used its arms for "display" purposes as well; either for competition with other males, or for attracting mates (www.nature.com). Some scientists even believe it is possible that T-Rex's arms were covered in feathers as well. Although it is unclear whether or not T-Rex possessed feathers, their presence (if confirmed) would provide substantial credence to the possible link between dinosaurs and birds. However, additional research is needed on the matter before conclusions can be made with certainty.


T-Rex has appeared in multiple series and movies across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. These include:

Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park 2, Jurassic Park 3, Jurassic World, Night at the Museum, Land of the Lost, Dinosaurs, and Toy Story to name only a few. These movies, along with popular portrayals, demonstrate the T-Rex's overwhelming popularity and generally support the claim that T-Rex remains one of the most recognizable dinosaurs of all time.

Similar Species

Members of the Tyrannosauroidea family included: Albertosaurus, Eotyrannus, Gorgosaurus, and Alioramus. Each of these species possessed long, powerful bodies, with large heads, bipedal movement, and short, tiny arms.


It is unknown what T-Rex regularly fed on. However, many scientists believe that Triceratops and Edmontosaurus both served as prey to T-Rex. It is also believed that Tyrannosaurus may have fed on other T-Rex, as large teeth marks have been discovered on many T-Rex specimens.

Karl Bates and Peter Falkingham (in 2012) estimate that the T-Rex may have had “the most powerful bite of any terrestrial animal that has ever lived” (Wikipedia). According to some estimates, “the dinosaur’s bite could exert up to 12,814 pounds-force” (www.livescience.com). According to the Natural History Museum, it is believed that T-Rex's bit "was around 3 times as powerful than that of a lion" (nhm.ac.uk). Scientists, such as William Abler, have also hypothesized that T-Rex possessed teeth that contained infectious bacteria. Similar to some modern reptiles, this bacteria would have been harmful to its prey (Wikipedia).

Pack Behavior

It is unknown (and highly debated) whether T-Rex hunted its prey alone or with packs. For many years, scientists have hypothesized that T-Rex hunted alone due to the large number of isolated skeletal remains that have been discovered. However, in more recent years, many scientists have shifted in this stance; incorporating a viewpoint that gives credence to T-Rex's ability (both physically and mentally) to function within a group setting. Scientists base this hypothesis on evidence discovered in both the Gobi Desert and South Dakota. In both areas, numerous T-Rex (and Tyrannosaurid) remains were discovered in close proximity to one another, indicating a possibility that T-Rex hunted in groups, rather than alone. Revelations such as these are monumental in the science community, as they indicate that T-Rex may have been smarter and more intelligent than previously believed (www.telegraph.co.uk).

Other scientists continue to remain skeptical about T-Rex' pack behavior. Given that "some Tyrannosaurus fossils show bite marks from other tyrannosaurs," many scientists argue that the close proximity of fossils may have resulted, instead, from territorial fights, "whether over food or mates" (nwm.ac.uk).

Popular depiction of T Rex
Popular depiction of T Rex

Final Thoughts

Tyrannosaurus Rex was one of the most powerful dinosaurs (and predators) to have ever existed. Although much is known about T-Rex and its characteristics/traits, much can still be learned about this amazing dinosaur as technological advances, research, and additional discoveries are made in the near future. Only time will tell what exciting new facts can be discovered by scientists and researchers.

In the meantime, we can continue to follow Hollywood, authors, and artists, alike, in their popular portrayals of T-Rex. Whether these portrayals prove factual or not, remains to be seen.

Do you agree that T-Rex was "king" of the dinosaurs?

See results

Quiz (3 Questions)

view quiz statistics

Works Cited:

Castro, Joseph. "Tyrannosaurus Rex: Facts About T. Rex, King of the Dinosaurs." LiveScience. October 17, 2017. Accessed June 04, 2018. https://www.livescience.com/23868-tyrannosaurus-rex-facts.html.

Collins, Nick. "Tyrannosaurus Rex 'hunted in Packs'." The Telegraph. June 22, 2011. Accessed June 12, 2018. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/dinosaurs/8589113/Tyrannosaurus-Rex-hunted-in-packs.html.

Gallagher, Brian. "T-Rex Revealed in Jurassic World Viral Video." MovieWeb. February 26, 2016. Accessed June 04, 2018. https://movieweb.com/jurassic-world-movie-trex-viral-video/.

"Palaeontology: The Truth about T. Rex." Nature News. Accessed June 15, 2018. https://www.nature.com/news/palaeontology-the-truth-about-t-rex-1.13988.

Pepper, Darren. "Tyrannosaurus." Allosaurus. Accessed June 12, 2018. http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/species/t/tyrannosaurus.html.

"T-Rex Wallpapers." Fun Animals Wiki, Videos, Pictures, Stories. Accessed June 04, 2018. http://animaltheory.blogspot.com/2012/07/t-rex-wallpapers.html.

"Tyrannosaurus." Natural History Museum. Accessed June 15, 2018. http://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/dino-directory/tyrannosaurus.html.

"Tyrannosaurus." Wikipedia. June 02, 2018. Accessed June 04, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrannosaurus.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Larry Slawson


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Larry Slawson profile imageAUTHOR

        Larry Slawson 

        13 months ago from North Carolina

        Totally agree Gavin. Its crazy that a predator this big once roamed the Earth haha.

      • profile image


        13 months ago

        coolest dinosaur ever

      • Larry Slawson profile imageAUTHOR

        Larry Slawson 

        24 months ago from North Carolina

        @Eric That's a great idea! I am going to definitely do that!

        @John and @Poppy Haha, definitely true. He is quite scary. Even just the skeletal remains are terrifying to behold. I can only imagine how scary the T-Rex was in person.

      • poppyr profile image


        24 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Despite how cool and breathtaking it would be to see one of these guys in real life, I'm glad they're extinct. Very interesting read; thank you.

      • profile image

        John M McNally 

        24 months ago

        Hi Larry, packed with interesting facts. I particularly liked the quick facts at the beginning. I guess I thought I knew a bit about the T Rex but soon realized that I didn't. Now I do. You wouldn't want that bad boy running you down.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        24 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Larry do not get me started. I am a research freak and it is rubbing off on my son. I do not think we go a day without a reference book or research on the net.

        Your style here really works for us. It might be too hard but a lay out graph of the sizes like a ruler type deal with, on the head legs or whatever and a whale by comparison. Kind of like a cross for a visual learner and a kinesthetic. (that may make no sense)

        Sorry too much from me.

        But I will study this for method/delivery of "things".

      • Larry Slawson profile imageAUTHOR

        Larry Slawson 

        24 months ago from North Carolina

        Thank you Faith!

        @Eric I’m glad you enjoyed haha. I thought that I might try something new with this article. Haven’t dabbled much with science related articles before. But I plan to do some more like this, I think. Do you have any suggestions on items that I could add to make it better?

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        24 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        You really excellent here. Thank you. I have not decided whether to read this with my son for our daily 30 minutes or to keep it to myself so I can be smarter ;-)

        Why did I think the one from very south America was not as badass but bigger? I think Alio.

      • profile image


        24 months ago

        Interesting piece, Good but short Read.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)