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The Next T. rex: Albertosaurus

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User blog:TheReturnOfTheKing/Can we replace T. rex? Should we?

Albertosaurus2

Albertosaurus


The Daspletosaurus, a direct ancestor of the king of the dinosaurs, was on the trail of prey. It had injured a Triceratops bull in a fight and it knew the bull wasn't ready for a rematch. The trail of footprints lead into the lush plains where herds of dinosaurs grazed, and in the distance a rising cloud of dust signalled the presence of the herd. The Daspletosaurus was hungry and it salivated in anticipation of the coming feast. Soon, it would dine like a king.

Normally, a Daspletosaurus would be found with a pack, but this one was a rogue, a loner. That was why he had risked taking on a full-grown Triceratops - he needed food to survive on his own. He picked up his pace. The bull was obviously behind and it wouldn't be that hard to overtake it. But it was still a bull Triceratops, which meant caution. Those horns were deadly, even when it had a broken tail and a sprained ankle.

The bull knew a fight was coming. The Daspletosaurus could see that. It had deliberately fallen behind. It was prepared for a death-defying confrontation. The Daspletosaurus knew the wait was over. With a thunderous roar, it charged, running forward to meet the giant ceratopsian in battle.

The Daspletosaurus clamped down on the Triceratops's frill and twisted it, trying to break the ceratopsian's neck. The Triceratops struggled to escape, but it was weak and tired. It half-heartedly tried to jab at the Daspletosaurus' chest with it's horn, to no avail. With a snap, the Triceratops fell to be eaten.

The Daspletosaurus had been expecting a more difficult fight, and it was relieved to be able to eat it's meal in peace. Or so it thought. It heard a roar and looked up to see a Gorgosaurus, a smaller, lightly built tyrannosaur. The Daspletosaurus roared, hoping to scare away the intruder. The Gorgosaurus turned tail and ran, and the Daspletosaurus barked out a warning for the future. Little did the Daspletosaurus know the Gorgosaurus hadn't run away from it. There was a sound of thunder in the Earth, made by the Gorgosaurus' closest relatives. The Daspletosaurus turned to find a pack of six or seven Albertosaurus running towards it.

One Daspletosaurus against a single lightly-built Albertosaurus is by far in the favour of the heavily built Daspletosaurus, but two Albertosaurus versus a Daspletosaurus is definitely better odds for the Albertosaurus. And against seven fully grown Albertosaurus, even a Spinosaurus would back down. The Daspletosaurus turned tail and fled, leaving the kill to the pack. But this was not a matter of food - the Daspletosaurus had unwittingly wandered into their territory and they had come to evict it, by force if necessary.

The Daspletosaurus ran as fast as it could, but the Albertosaurus were rapidly gaining. They were fast, very fast. It couldn't run, there was nowhere to hide and the Daspletosaurus stood no chance in a fight. In desperation, it wheeled and clamped down on an Albertosaurus neck, flinging the beast to the ground. The Albertosaurus was built for chasing, not fighting, and the powerful jaws of the Daspletosaurus easily ended it's life. One Albertosaurus hit it in the side while running and the Daspletosaurus was cut off balance. Another Albertosaurus rammed it, and it fell and was at the mercy of the pack.

Soon, floods came to the region and inundated the former battlefield. The waters embraced the rotting remains of the Albertosaurus and carried it away to a place where it's DNA would be preserved, entombed in the Earth for millenia upon millenia upon millenia…


Albertosaurus sarcophagus literally means "flesh-eating lizard from Alberta". Pretty sweet name, huh? Albertosaurus and Gorgosaurus were the only members of a group called the Albertosaurines, unique tyrannosaurs that were made for speed. And if Gorgosaurus is (not likely) a junior synonym of Albertosaurus, that makes them truly unique.

What is cool about Albertosaurus is that it isn't a bulky monster - it's a fast, slender, exotic killer. It's like lions and cheetahs - lions are big and scary, but cheetahs are fast and cool. Not to say lions aren't cool, but cheetahs are sleek and feline. And raptors aren't big and dangerous - their strong points are speed and their fast, sleek, deadly nature. Albertosaurus is a giant tyranno-raptor, which is seriously badass!


I have returned. I am a king. Therefore, I am THE RETURN OF THE KING!! Speak to me, peasants! 23:19, July 1, 2013 (UTC)

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