T. Rex skull, picture taken at
Field Museum of Natural History,

T. Rex skull, picture taken at
Field Museum of Natural History,
Conservation status
Extinct (fossil)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Superfamily: Tyrannosauroidea
Family: Tyrannosauridae
Osborn, 1906

See text.

Tyrannosaurs, tyrant lizards or members of the Tyrannosauridae are a carnivorous dinosaur family whose name is derived from the Greek words tyrannos, meaning 'tyrant' and sauros, meaning 'lizard'.

Tyrannosaurids were originally classified as 'carnosaurs', along with most of the rest of the large theropods. Recent phylogenetic studies, however, have determined that tyrannosaurids are coelurosaurs, a group which also includes the ornithomimids and the maniraptorans. Thus, they are more closely related to dromaeosaurids than to other large predatory dinosaur groups such as the allosaurids. Discoveries of basal, coelurid-like tyrannosauroids have helped solidify this link. [1]

Tyrannosaurs are characterized by broad, massive skulls, short, powerful necks, and reduced 'arms' with only two digits. Notable specimens include "Jane", the world's most complete juvenile T. rex.

  • Weight: up to 6.4 tonnes (up to 7 US tons)
  • Length: up to 14 metres (up to 46 ft)
  • Location: Western Europe, North America, Central Asia, and East Asia (area dependent on species)
  • Period: Late Cretaceous



The Tyrannosaurids contain several genera and species, of which Tyrannosaurus rex is undoubtedly the most well-known.

  • Superfamily Tyrannosauroidea (primitive tyrannosaurs)
    • Family Tyrannosauridae
      • Aublysodon
      • Deinodon
      • Subfamily Albertosaurinae
        • Appalachiosaurus
        • Bagaraatan
        • Xinjiangovenator
        • Tribe Albertosaurini
          • Albertosaurus
          • Gorgosaurus
      • Subfamily Tyrannosaurinae
        • Alioramus
        • Daspletosaurus
        • Tribe Tyrannosaurini


Cladogram after Carr (2005) and Mortimer (2006, online)[1].

|  |--+--Appalachiosaurus
|  |  `-?+--Bagaraatan
|  |     `-?Xinjiangovenator
|  `--Albertosaurini
|     |--Gorgosaurus
|     `--Albertosaurus
      |-?Tyrannosaurus? zhuchengensis


  1. Xu, X., Norell, M. A., Kuang, X., Wang, X., Zhao, Q., and Jia, C. (2004). "Basal tyrannosauroids from China and evidence for protofeathers in tyrannosauroids." Nature, 431: 680-684.
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