Gorgosaurus was a close relation of Tyrannosaurus. Although not as big as its cousin, it was every bit as fierce! This article contains Gorgosaurus facts for kids and adults, and is part of our Dinosaur Facts Series. Let’s learn more about this mighty meat-eater …
Gorgosaurus Facts for Kids, Students and Adults: Introduction
Gorgosaurus was a saurischian (lizard-hipped), theropod dinosaur. It was a member of the Tyrannosauridae family – the same family as Tyrannosaurus Rex. In fact, Gorgosaurus was more closely related to Albertosaurus – another Tyrannosaurid – than it was to T Rex. Some paleontologists even consider Gorgosaurus to be the same genus as Albertosaurus.
(Because Albertosaurus was named first, this would mean that Gorgosaurus was a type of Albertosaurus. However, other paleontologists consider there to be too many differences between the species for them to be in the same genus.)
- (You can find out more about ‘saurischian’ and ‘theropod’ dinosaurs here: Types of Dinosaur.)
More Gorgosaurus fossils have been found than of any other Tyrannosaurid. Because of this, scientists have been able to get a good idea of how Gorgosaurus lived.
Gorgosaurus lived in North America around 76 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous period.
- Learn more about the Cretaceous and other periods of the Mesozoic Era here: Dinosaur Periods.
Like all Tyrannosaurids, Gorgosaurus walked on two legs and had very short arms. Its powerful tail provided balance, and the weight of its large head was carried on an S-shaped neck.
Gorgosaurus’s feet had three large clawed toes which took the animal’s weight. A smaller fourth toe was located further up the foot off the ground. At the end of each of its short arm was a two-fingered hand.
Gorgosaurus’s skull grew to around 1m (3.3 ft.) in length. Its powerful jaws were filled with up to 72 sharp teeth.
Gorgosaurus was a well-built, fast-moving predator that would have been able to take down even large herbivores.
While not as large as T Rex, Gorgosaurus was a large dinosaur that would have towered over a man. It grew up to 9m (30 ft.) in length, and weighed around 2.5 metric tonnes (2.8 short tons).
Gorgosaurus spent up to half of its live in a juvenile phase, before undergoing a period of rapid growth to reach its adult size. This would have allowed juvenile Gorgosaurus’s to prey on different species than adults, thereby reducing competition.
Gorgosaurus would have preyed on the numerous herbivorous dinosaurs that were present at that time. These would have included hadrosaurs, ornithomimosaurs and ankylosaurids
Where Was Gorgosaurus Found?
Most Gorgosaurus specimens were found in the Dinosaur Park formation in Alberta, Canada. Rocks in this formation are around 76 million years old.
Possible Gorgosaurus specimens have also been found in Montana, USA.
Top Ten Gorgosaurus Facts for Kids
- Gorgosaurus was a member of the Tyrannosauridae family – the same family as Tyrannosaurus Rex.
- Gorgosaurus was a theropod.
- It walked on two powerful hind legs, but only had short arms.
- Gorgosaurus lived around 76 million years ago, in the Late Cretaceous period.
- Gorgosaurus grew up to 9m (30 ft.) in length.
- It weighed around 2.5 metric tonnes (2.8 short tons).
- More Gorgosaurus fossils have been found than any other Tyrannosaurid
- Most Gorgosaurus specimens have been found in the Dinosaur Park formation in Alberta, Canada.
- Gorgosaurus may have spent up to half of its life in a juvenile stage before undergoing a quick growth spurt to reach adulthood.
- Gorgosaurus was more closely related to Albertosaurus than it was to Tyrannosaurus. It was so closely related that some paleontologists consider Gorgosaurus to be a species of Albertosaurus.
Gorgosaurus Facts for Kids, Students and Adults: Conclusion
We hope that you have enjoyed learning about one of T Rex’s smaller cousins! Why not take a look at some other dinosaur pages on Active Wild: