|“||Albertosaurus are distant relatives of T. rex. Therefore, they're like a T. rex, but smaller...and faster.||„|
|— Allen, about Albertosaurus|
Albertosaurus (name meaning "Alberta Lizard") is a genus of large tyrannosaurid theropod dinosaur, related to Tyrannosaurus rex, that originated during the Late Cretaceous period in North America. Although it was 9 meters long and therefore smaller than its more famous relative, unlike T. rex, Albertosaurus was faster but only appeared several million years after T. rex. Albertosaurus has been informally referred to even by Palaeontologists as the, "sports car edition of T. rex", because it is more slender with a narrow skull.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Albertosaurus lived in Western North America during the Late Cretaceous period from 78–65 million years ago, living up until the end of the Cretaceous period when it died out with the other dinosaurs. It shared its environment with Parasaurolophus, Pachyrhinosaurus, Nyctosaurus, Troodon, and its competitor Deinosuchus.
Hence its name, they were first discovered in the state of Alberta, Canada in 1884. However, Albertosaurus was named by Henry Fairfield Osborn in a one-page note at the end of his 1905 description of Tyrannosaurus rex.
Although small compared to other, larger predatory dinosaurs, such as Allosaurus, Carcharadontosaurus, Spinosaurus, Giganotosaurus, and even their larger cousins Tarbosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex, Albertosaurus was still one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs that ever walked the Earth. Albertosaurus measured up to 30 feet (9.2 m) in length from head to tail, stood about 9–11 feet (3–3.6 m) tall at the hips, and weighed as much as 3 tons (6,000 lbs.). Several rare individuals measured 33 feet (10.2 m) long. A huge predatory theropod closely related to T. rex, Albertosaurus was physically very similar to its cousin, but it was distinguishable from T. rex by a relatively smaller and sleeker build as well as two small, horn-like crests located above each eye.
Additionally, like all members of the Tyrannosaur family, Albertosaurus had small, two-fingered arms. Though smaller, less powerful, and more light weight than T. rex, Albertosaurus was also much faster and more agile, able to gallop forth with great bursts of speed, running as fast as 30–38 mph, just about as fast as a modern African lioness, which made it very difficult both to outrun and to chase down. Albertosaurus had a long tail that provided the required balance and it even aided the dinosaur while turning. It was also still strong enough both to head-ram objects with sufficient force to fatally injure a human and to easily crush and kill a human in its jaws.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
Being a member of the Tyrannosaur family and like many large predatory dinosaurs, Albertosaurus was a pack hunter, hunting and traveling in groups of several individuals, including juveniles and hatchlings. Albertosaurus preyed on the herbivorous dinosaurs of its environment, like Parasaurolophus as well as the ceratopsians and ankylosaurs, and brought them down by hunting in cooperative packs. However, it had a rivalry with the giant crocodilian Deinosuchus, which was considered to be a top predator in certain parts of North America, specifically where it shared the environment with Albertosaurus.
Though not quite as terrifying as its larger cousin, Albertosaurus was nevertheless highly aggressive towards practically anything that moved; it was known to run down and eat alive smaller animals it tracked and homed in on when hunting, and it would even snap its jaws to try and catch creatures passing in its sights while it was distracted running. Albertosaurus was an extremely dangerous predator towards smaller animals who were alone or in small numbers of no more than four.
Prehistoric Earth: A Natural HistoryEdit
Albertosaurus are encountered several times in this episode.
|“|| With their names meaning "The Lizard from Alberta", Albertosaurus is a relative of Tyrannosaurus, but only they were smaller and more lightweight. Because of their lightweight, it allowed them to run faster than their larger cousin, running nearly as fast as a modern African lioness.
Reaching a measurement of 30 feet in length, standing over 10 feet tall, and weighing 3 tons, Albertosaurus were the top predators of their time, only rivaled by the giant crocodile and their competitor Deinosuchus. In addition, these highly aggressive predatory dinosaurs also hunted in packs.
|— Allen, in his Journal, about Albertosaurus|