Tyrannosaurus is the most famous dinosaur genus and a fixture in
popular culture. Known colloquially as T. rex, the species
Tyrannosaurus rex hails from what is now western North America. Some
scientists consider the slightly older Tarbosaurus bataar from Asia
represent a second species of Tyrannosaurus, while others maintain
Tarbosaurus as a separate genus. Like other tyrannosaurid theropods,
Tyrannosaurus was a bipedal carnivore with a massive skull balanced
a long, heavy tail. Relative to the large and powerful hindlimbs,
Tyrannosaurus forelimbs were small, and retained only two digits.
Although other theropods rivaled or exceeded T. rex in size, it was
the largest known tyrannosaurid and one of the largest known land
predators, measuring over 12 meters (40 feet) in length and weighing
as much as an elephant. Fossils of T. rex have been found in North
American rock formations dating to the very end of the Cretaceous
Period; it was among the last dinosaurs to exist prior to the
Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event. More than 30 specimens of T.
have now been identified, some nearly complete, which has allowed
significant research into many aspects of its biology, including its
life history and biomechanics. However, the feeding habits and
potential speed of T. rex remain controversial.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Great Turkish war: Polish troops led by Jan III Sobieski joined forces
with a Habsburg army to defeat the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of
Leó Szilárd, waiting for a red light on Southampton Row in
Bloomsbury, conceived of the idea of the nuclear chain reaction.
The Laconia incident: A U-boat sank RMS Laconia with a torpedo off
coast of West Africa and attempted to rescue the passengers, which
included some 80 civilians, 160 Polish and 268 British soldiers and
about 1800 Italian POWs.
South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko was killed in police
Abimael Guzmán, leader of the Peruvian Maoist guerrilla organization
Shining Path, was captured in Lima.
Wikiquote of the day:
"When I came back to my native country, after all the stories about
Hitler, I couldn't ride in the front of the bus. I had to go to the
back door. I couldn't live where I wanted. When I came back to my
native country, after all the stories about Hitler, I couldn't ride
the front of the bus. I had to go to the back door. I couldn't live
where I wanted. I wasn't invited to shake hands with Hitler, but I
wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with the President,
either. -- Jesse Owens