The genus Daspletosaurus includes some species of theropod tyrannosaurid saurischian dinosaurs that lived in what we know today as North America, approximately 75 million years ago, during the Cretaceous Period.
Daspletosaurus literally means “dreadful reptile”, and at first it was thought to be a Gorgosaurus because they shared the same habitat and time period, but later on it was seen that they were different dinosaurs.
The initial discovery of the remains of this specimen was made in the country of Canada, however, there is also another bone structure that has been found in the United States of America, so we can say that these specimens are the most scarce in terms of fossil remains.
However, due to the great efforts that scientists have managed to make, it has been possible to obtain a great number of data on this dinosaur despite the scarcity of vestiges.
Do you want to know more about this Cretaceous dinosaur? Then, do not hesitate to read this article where we provide you with a wide and detailed information about the Daspletosaurus.
This specimen belongs to the kingdom of Animalia.
The phylum on which it was classified is Chordata.
The class it belonged to is Sauropsida.
We obviously found it in the super-order Dinosauria.
The order in which it was classified is Saurischia.
It belongs to the suborder Theropoda.
The family where it was included is Tyrannosauridae.
The subfamily in which we found him is Tyrannosaurinae.
The genus we are referring to is Daspletosaurus.
This genus is represented by two species: D. torosus and D. homeri, being the first species mentioned the type species, that is to say, the one that has been used to be able to make the scientific description that has transcended until the present time.
Characteristics of this dinosaur
The dimensions of this animal were really gigantic, almost 900 centimeters long and with an incredible weight of more than 4000 kilograms.
The area of the head of the specimen also enjoyed a large size, it has even been presumed that this area could have a cranial length of more than 100 centimeters.
In addition, it has been known that this specimen used its large head as a huge hammer that could hit and seriously injure its opponents and even the prey that it decided to hunt.
This leads us to think that it is quite obvious and clear that this head also proved to be very resistant and of great consistency so that it could perform many blows throughout its existence.
There are even some famous researchers who have come to claim that this area of the animal was an indestructible zone, almost impossible to be broken or damaged by any other animal of its time.
This was a specimen that clearly had the capacity to receive or give many blows with its head and even not feel any kind of pain, its structure was designed in a perfect way to support numerous impacts, whatever they were.
In addition to this, it has been known that in this skull we can observe some openings called fenestra, which serve to reduce the volume of the total structure, in this way the agility and speed with which this structure could be moved or displaced was much greater.
As for his neck, we can say that it enjoyed the shape of an S, a quality it had in common with other specimens called under the name of tyrannosaurids, so flexibility was a necessary and important quality in this part of his body.
This flexibility was simply indispensable, especially when we now know that he used this neck to be able to swing the large mallet he had as his head.
The tooth structure located in the mouth area was varied and abundant, even comparing the tooth structure of Daspletosaurus with the tooth structure of sharks.
In addition to this, all the dental elements did not enjoy the same form or the same function, so we can say that they were divided according to the function they had to perform.
This quality is called heterodontia, an additional quality that makes it even more similar to other specimens placed within the known Tyrannosaurids.
Discovery of this dinosaur
The vestiges found and belonging to this creature consisted only of a bone structure that turned out to be incomplete, this consisted of elements belonging to the skull, the shoulder area and the areas belonging to the extremities.
Obviously many bones were also needed to complete at least half of the total structure, but with the few traces found it has been possible to carry out very important research.
The first of the vestiges found was found in 1921, as we had already mentioned, within a territory that today belongs to Alberta, located in the north of America.
The main researcher of this specimen, Charles Mortram Sternbert, was the one who found them. However, the review of the animal’s data was not published until after almost 50 years, when another scientist, Russell, took on the task of carrying out such a hard work.
Dale Russell was the famous scientist who took the remains of the skull and set out to analyze and interpret the mysteries hidden in that piece of bone, and it was the same guy who was in charge of giving the name to a new species of this animal, we are talking about the species Daspletosaurus torosus.
In this species a quite descriptive quality of this animal stood out, that of the enormous muscles that it surely presented in life, all this research let’s remember that it took place in the 1970s.
Finally, up to our days, a total of 6 bone structures have been counted, and the last one could be found in the middle of the 21st century. What is curious and really exquisite is that this last individual is the one in best condition, and nobody still manages to explain the reason for such a detail.
There is also a controversy about a fact that came about through one of the scientific expeditions that were carried out each year, it turns out that two bone structures of great importance were removed and the whereabouts are unknown until today, structures that were found in the Oldman formation.
The controversy is not alien to this animal, since a numerous group of scientists assures that this specimen is nothing more and nothing less than a structure belonging to the Albertosaurus, due to the great similarities it presents. Meanwhile, another group of paleontologists asserts that it is indeed a very different specimen, which is why they reaffirm the name of Daspletosaurus.
Feeding of Daspletosaurus
This mysterious specimen could have been one of the largest predators, a true ferocious animal that fed on anyone who crossed its path, all because of its great size and the great speed with which it could move.
It is quite likely that no specimen of his time resisted or could withstand the attack of such a thunderous creature, only by imagining the enormous head with which he whipped his victims it becomes quite likely that the other animals only managed to flee while this was still possible.
It is also presumed that among its main victims we can mention the interesting specimen called Centrosaurus, and even another specimen that we have already met under the name of Hadrosaurus.
The dinosaur in this article was at what we know today as the top of the food chain, no other animal hunted him, but he was in charge of eating everyone.
The bone structure of this specimen was by itself of a very high volume, so it is obvious that the total body of the animal was even more, for this detail is believed that to move was not an animal so fast that we say.
In other words, the agility was not a resource that this animal used frequently, especially if it was to hunt other specimens of smaller size and much greater speed than it could present.
For that reason, many scientists have been able to elucidate how this animal managed to attack and eat its prey frequently, until they finally found the answer, and that is that this specimen managed to be very stealthy and was quite good at making surprise attacks.
In this way, the prey, however small and fast they were, could no longer escape the enormous and powerful teeth, nor the powerful header that this specimen gave them.
To perform such a manoeuvre, the conditions of its environment must have been favourable for it, since there must have been leafy trees or abundant vegetation, so that its body could be totally camouflaged and thus avoid being detected by its victims.
For that reason we can already imagine this animal making a quite effective jump, giving a powerful head-butt with which it could even make other specimens lose consciousness that later would become its food.
The behaviour of this animal was really that of a very intelligent individual, an individual who would have even fought with another specimen of great dimensions, among which we can mention the great Tyrannosaurus.
All these data are known because the bony elements of the area of the face came to evidence some prints belonging to the teeth of another animal, so it was obviously a bite from another large specimen.
Similarly, these same scientists concluded that the bite would probably have healed very quickly, so that this individual would have either defeated the other animal or managed to escape.
This fact warns us about the great intellectual capacity that the specimen that today is the protagonist of this article managed to have.
Such behavior is quite frequent among the greatest predators we have known throughout these days; they did not necessarily attack each other to eat, but they actually did it to mark their territory or to know who was the most powerful in that territory and in that prehistoric period.