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Any of a group of related predatory dinosaurs with large, high skulls, powerful jaws and legs, and large, sharp teeth shaped for biting through flesh and bone. Tyrannosaurus rex is the largest and best-known, found as fossils in North American deposits from the latest part of the Cretaceous Period (about 65 million years ago). Tyrannosaurs walked with the body horizontal and the long tail held off the ground as a counterweight. In that posture, large adults, weighing more than six tons, would have been more than 40 ft (12 m) long. In some forms the hands had only two digits. A nearly complete skeleton of T. rex called Sue is on display at the Field Museum in Chicago. Other tyrannosaurs include Albertosaurus and Tarbosaurus.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on tyrannosaur, visit Britannica.com.