Gorgosaurus

Gorgosaurus recreation

The Gorgosaurus is one of the most unique dinosaurs you can find, its name comes from the Greek and means “Terrible Lizard”. He lived 75 million years ago in the Cretaceous in North America. His first bones were found in Alberta, Canada, a second group was found in Montana. Today it is only accepted that the Gorgosaurus has only one species. He was a Tyrannosaurid who shared characteristics with his relatives, for example he was a super predator who walked on two feet, could weigh more than a ton and was about 10 meters long. He had dozens of sharp teeth that he used to attack his prey and like his relatives he had short arms.

It was a little smaller than the Tyrannosaurus but bigger than the Albertosaurus. He had only two fingers although some could have a third finger that was not very helpful, on his legs he had four fingers and his legs were long, a rare feature in theropods, the femur or bone of the longest leg is reported to be about 1 meter long, the proportions of their legs indicate that they were excellent runners. His long tail, like others of the same type, served as the perfect counterweight to his body.

The holotype or base specimen of the Gorgosaurus is the Gorgosaurus Libratus, of which almost all bones are held and was discovered by Charles M. Sternberg in 1913, was one of the first tyrannosauridae found almost complete, was found in the Dinosaur Park Formation in Canada. On the other hand, four other almost complete specimens of Gorgosaurus were found almost simultaneously in the Red Deer River, William Matthew and Barnum Brown. They themselves described most of the remains, including a fifth skeleton that had been found in 1917.

Later in 1856 Joseph Leidy described two teeth that he discovered and attributed to Deinodon, but Matthew and Brown have said that these teeth are exactly the same as those of the Gorgosaurus. It is now believed that many of the Tyrannosaurid bones of the Judith River formation in Montana probably belonged to Gorgosaurus.

In the environment where I lived, there was a lot of water, in fact I lived on the coast. It was a very effective carnivore, in fact it was considered a super predator, it fed mainly on Ceratopsids and Hadrosaurids that abounded in its environment. In some areas where he lived, he had to share habitat with the Daspletosaurus, so he had to compete even more for food. He had typical teeth among the tyrannosaurids, he had many teeth that formed a D, these were the sharpest, the rest were oval teeth that had the shape of a knife this was very typical and very effective. He came to have m´ås with 50 very effective teeth that helped him capture a large number of prey and be the most effective predator in his environment.

There is a great deal of debate as to whether he was not only a scavenger, but also a scavenger, i.e. that he fed on carrion, i.e. the meat of dead animals or the prey of others. This because he was compared to other tyrannosaurids and especially compared to his environment, so this theory is that because of lack of food or the circumstances of his environment may have supplemented his diet with carrion.

One of the most interesting things about the Gorgosaurus is that in 2001 the paleontologist Phil Currie, who obtained impressions of the skin of the Gorgosaurus, is one of the few dinosaurs whose skin is really known, the others are conjectures or simply assigned a skin similar to a reptile. In this case the Gorgosaurus had in fact a soft skin, nothing like a reptile, without scales, experts say it would look very much like the skin of a bird, but without feathers.

On the other hand the Gorgosaurus is special because there has been a lot of confusion in its classification and study, which makes it a difficult dinosaur to understand. In fact many species have been named Gorgosaurus and then corrected and many young Tyrannosaurus have in fact been incorrectly classified as Gorgosaurus.

Where else can you find him?

The Gorgosaurus is not such a popular dinosaur in the mass media, but it is certainly very popular in museums, the most complete and interesting specimen you can find will be at the Canadian Museum of Natural History in Ottawa.