STL Science Center

STL Science Center

30 August 2014

Alectrosaurus is Short

In looking at illustrations and discussions the past 24 hours or so I have noticed that there has been a lot of debate around where in the family tree Alectrosaurus belongs. Some say it is an albertosaur, some say it is not. Some say it is not even a tyrannosaur. Most of that is either because of the low number of remains attributed to Alectrosaurus or because the remains point to an extremely short species of tyrannosaur. Regardless, the hypothesized extrapolation of the length and height of Alectrosaurus does indeed appear to indicate that this dinosaur was quite short. Relatively speaking, of course. However, compared to other tyrannosaurs that are well known (e.g. Tyrannosaurus, Tarbosaurus, Nanotyrannus), Alectrosaurus is a very short taxon. The height hypothesized is approximately 2 meters and length is approximately 5 meters. To put that in perspective, Nanotyrannus is approximately 2 meters tall and 5.2 meters long while Tyrannosaurus rex is approximately 4 meters tall and 13 meters long. The overall body design is usually typically tyrannosauroid, but little beyond the feet, tibia, femur, and referred skulls and hindlimbs are known. The referred material has not been assigned without doubt to Alectrosaurus, but that only means that any illustrations of the head and hands, like this one, are somewhat hypothetical, depending on how much assurance there truly is in the referred materials. Regardless, Alectrosaurus is still a rather sleek and dangerous looking tyrannosaur.

1 comment:

  1. Alectrosaurus also has a pretty cool name.