Albertosaurus sarcophagus

Albertosaurus sarcophagus

 

The Albertosaurus is a tyrannosaurid theropod that lived in the Cretaceous in what is now North America, about 65 million years ago. The majority lived in the Canadian province of Alberta, hence the name Albertosaurios, they still do not agree on the number of species but so far they have all agreed on two. Like other members of the Tyrannosaurid family, it was a two-legged predator with large teeth and hands, most likely one of the most dangerous predators in the vicinity. It was a large dinosaur, yet it was a bit smaller than a Tyrannosaurus and many others in his family, yet compared to other dinosaurs it was quite large. As an adult it could reach up to 10 meters and weigh up to 2 tons.

When he walked on his two legs he swung his head and tail, each foot had four toes, one of which was small and of little use to him, while he leaned against the other three; curiously enough his middle finger was much longer than the others. According to several studies it is believed that he could run at speeds of up to 48 km/h. Besides this, it had a huge skull and a very short neck that seemed to be unable to hold it, for this it was S-shaped. It also had small bony ridges that could have been very brightly colored and used to attract potential partners.

Many fossils have been found of it, more or less 20 different Albertosaurus, this has allowed them to be studied in depth and much of their behavior and development has been known. Joseph Burr Tyrrel was the one who discovered the first Albertosaurus in 1884, very early in the search for dinosaurs, to this must be added that his name was given at Henry Fairfield Osborn in 1905. The first thing that was found was a skull near the Red Deer River, even though it was found complete, they did not have enough equipment to recover it completely, so they were only able to save half of it. A few years later in 1889 a smaller skull and some bones were found. Since then, more discoveries have been made that have allowed us to get to know this dinosaur in depth.

The Albertosaurus being tyrannosaurids were definitely carnivores. The best thing about the way they got their food is that it is believed that they hunted in groups, but not just any group but large groups as they have been found together between 10 and 26 Albertosaurus together, which is the largest number of carnivorous dinosaurs found together, this characteristic made them a hunting machine.

It is believed that in their groups there was one dominant adult and many young dinosaurs, always younger than the dominant male. Although there are some scientists who believe that they did not hunt as a group but found them all together was merely an accident, many believe that they died in a flood. However, the simple fact that they were all together at the time of the catastrophe reinforces the theory that they worked in herds. This behavior in which many predators work together is extremely rare, however because of this behavior and their physical characteristics we can say that together they were true killing machines with the ability to provide food for their entire herd.

What makes it absolutely special is its teeth. He was a carnivore with many teeth, much more than 70, which is rare because the other tyrannosaurids have fewer teeth, another characteristic being that they had a very natural curvature. The most interesting thing about his teeth was that they were heterodontic, which means that his teeth were different depending on where they were in his mouth. These teeth are perfectly adapted to resist the force of their prey that resisted with desperate movements. It is believed that the force of his teeth was 3413 Newtons.

The teeth of the Albertosaurus also had very particular cracks that according to studies are not due to wear or use, but their teeth were cracked in order to distribute the bite force over a larger area, and the cracks also tell us about the behavior of the Albertosaurus of shaking his head when he had a prey in his mouth. He also chewed in a very peculiar way, biting first and with the same teeth pushing the food backwards to chew and swallow it.

Where else can you find him?

Although the Albertosaurus is a formidable dinosaur, as it looks a bit like the Tyrannosaurus, they always prefer to represent it instead of the Albertosaurus. In some toys they have represented it, with its characteristic ridges, so if you see a Tyrannosaurus with particular ridges it is definitely a misrepresented Albertosaurus.