The collective noun for a group of tyrannosaurs
Tyrannosaurs, or to be more precise the theropod dinosaurs that make up the Tyrannosauroid family are perhaps the best known of all the different types of dinosaurs. One of the last, and one of the largest Tyrannosaurs to evolve, was the fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex (Tyrant Lizard King). This dinosaur held the record for being the largest and most powerful land predator of all time for the better part of a century, no respectable dinosaur movie was complete without a T. Rex or two showing up to hunt down and consume some people. T. Rex lived at the end of the Cretaceous, in a part of the world that we now know as the western United States and Canada, although at that time much of America was covered by a warm, shallow sea that scientists call the interior. western. Seaway.
Tyrannosaurus Rex was large with a very deep and powerful skull. Its strong jaws and banana-sized teeth gave it perhaps the most powerful bite of any land predator. Scientists have estimated that it could generate a bite force on the tips of its huge teeth of more than 15,000 pounds per square inch. This is fifteen times more powerful than the bite of a modern African lion (Panthero leo).
However, in the late 1990s, evidence of even larger carnivorous dinosaurs began to be discovered. Scientists had speculated that spinosaurs, particularly the remains of one of those creatures whose fossilized bones were found in 1911, just a few years after T. Rex was formally named and described, were at least as large as a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Fossils found in South America proved that tyrannosaurs didn’t get away with it when it came to being big and really ferocious. In 1993, a local fossil collector, Ruben Carolini, found the fossilized remains of a huge carnivorous dinosaur. The subsequent scientific expedition uncovered the skull of a carnivorous dinosaur that was larger than any known T. Rex skull at the time. The scientists then found the jaw near another similar creature that was even larger. From these discoveries, the “giant southern lizard” was described and Giganotosaurus carolini officially became the largest known carnivorous dinosaur in the fossil record and, by default, the largest land carnivore of all time.
However, the debate over which was the largest carnivorous dinosaur still continues, fueled by more fossil discoveries from the United States, Argentina and North Africa. An intriguing new field of research may have revealed a trait among tyrannosaurs that until recently had not been considered: that these animals may have been pack hunters.
The behavior of carnivorous dinosaurs was most likely as diverse as that of modern carnivorous mammals. Today, we see social hunters like lions and wolves, as well as apex predators that tend to be more solitary, like leopards and cougars. Furthermore, some modern predators, considered largely solitary, have a herd form of existence for part of their lives. A female polar bear (currently considered the largest land carnivore that exists today) will have her cubs with her for a considerable period, although it is the adult who does the hunting. Tigers too, highly regarded as lone hunters, form herds for part of their lives. Here young cubs spend perhaps up to two years with their mother and, as sub-adults, siblings often live as a loose collective for a time, before reaching sexual maturity. The collective name for a group of tigers is a “tiger ambush”, an apt description considering the ambush tactics most species of tigers employ when hunting prey.
It was Professor Phi Currie and his colleagues who raised the profile of herd hunting in tyrannosaurs with a paper published in 2000 detailing a study of an albertosaur (type of tyrannosaurus) bone bed in Canada. The scientific article was titled “Possible Evidence for Herding Behavior in Tyrannosaurs.” The remains of at least three albertosaurs were discovered together in a bed of bones, these dinosaurs were of different sizes, perhaps they were part of a herd of these dinosaurs that perished together crossing a swollen river, or perhaps the bodies of these animals were deposited in the same place many years apart after different floods.
Professor Currie from the University of Alberta and his team speculated that for at least part of the time, large theropods may have formed herds or family groups. Juveniles may have associated with mature animals in herds and therefore did not compete for food with smaller types of theropods. After a five-year research program, more evidence on the herd behavior of large species of tyrannosaurs has been discovered in the Gobi desert. Phil Currie has been at the forefront of this research, working closely with his Chinese museum counterparts, including the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology. This time, the tyrannosaurus in question is Tarbosaurus bataar, a close relative of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. This Asian tyrannosaurus is the largest known Asian predator with fossils found in China and Mongolia. It was very similar to the T. Rex with a slightly narrower snout and smaller teeth. It reached lengths in excess of 12 meters and would have weighed around five metric tons.
If tyrannosaurs, including those like Tyrannosaurus Rex, were pack hunters, then these creatures likely specialized in attacking large herbivores such as ceratopsians (horned dinosaurs) and hadrosaurs (duck-billed dinosaurs). It is unknown whether these animals remained in family groups for much of their lives. It is also impossible to determine if these creatures had any hunting tactics. Lions have strategies to hunt in the African plains, wolves also adopt a number of tactics to trap animals. It is unknown if tyrannosaurs were able to communicate and coordinate attacks with perhaps individuals who had their own specialized roles to play in hunting.
Tyrannosaurs as pack animals would have been truly formidable. This raises the intriguing question of what the collective name of a herd of tyrannosaurs should be. A collective noun is a word used to describe a collection of creatures such as a pod of whales, a school of fish, or a pride of lions. What would be a known appropriate collective for a group of theropod dinosaurs? Perhaps we could present the proposal that a group of albertosaurs be called an albosaur “assault”.
But what about the Tyrannosaurus Rex? What would be the collective name for a group of these fearsome reptiles, could we suggest a “tyranny” of Tyrannosaurus or how about a “tirade” of T. Rexes?