|Dinosaurs » A-Z Dinosaurs List » Daspletosaurus Dinosaur|
The theropod dinosaur Daspletosaurus or frightful lizard had a head as huge as the later Tyrannosaurus rex, with just as cruel teeth. With such big teeth, this carnivorous dinosaur may have been clever to attack and kill heavily plated species of dinosaurs, like ankylosaurs. A contempary of Gorgosaurus, Daspletosaurus was founded on a frame originally believed to be an undescribed species of Gorgosaurus. Dale A. Russell hypothesized that while the more lightly built and more common Gorgosaurus may have specialized in preying on the more ordinary species of hadrosaurids, the heavier, more robust Daspletosaurus may have specialized in the less prevalent armored species of the time such as the ceratopsids.
The fossils of a Daspletosaurus torosus were found in The Canadian Museum of Nature. It has been suggested that Daspletosaurus is a direct ancestor to Tyrannosaurus. The massive, stocky construct of the two tyrannosaurus and certain similarities in skull structures seem to be indicators of a close phylogenetic relationship between the two genera. Some have even gone further to suggest that Daspletosaurus is in fact a species of Tyrannosaurus (Daspletosaurus torosus = Tyrannosaurus torosus), but this has not been universally acknowledged. Currently, one species of Daspletosaurus, D. torosus, (torosus = "brawny") has been officially documented.
However, a recent tyrannosaur find in Montana is thought to be that of a new (still un-named) daspletosaur species.The skull of this find seems to point to a more "Tyrannosaurus-like" animal than D. torosus, possibly indicating an middle form between D. torosus and T. rex. Most of the specimens found were in Alberta, others were also establish in New Mexico.
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