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Re: Inquiring Minds



>The following is a letter that was written by one of my second grade
>students. I would greatly appreciate any information to give back to him.
>I am writing this letter exactly as it was given to me..   :)
>
>To Palenontologist,
>Was T-Rex bigger than a Carnatasaur.  Was T-Rex like Steven Spielberg made
>it look like?  Was Ovirapter bigger than Dienonychus or was Lowrapter
>bigger than Velocirapter?

Tyrannosaurus rex was bigger than Carnotaurus, and in fact was bigger than
almost every other described meat-eating dinosaur.  Spinosaurus was longer
than T. rex, but was skinnier.  A newly-discovered dinosaur, to be
described soon, is larger than the largest T. rex skeleton (the fossil
called Sue).  However, there is a jaw bone of T. rex (in the collections of
a Californian museum) which may be from an individual larger even than the
new Argentine dinosaur.

The Jurassic Park T. rex was, in my opinion, very accurate in appearence.
However, even I (who am more accepting of a fast running T. rex than are
most paleontologists) think that 36 miles per hour is too fast.  36
kilometers per hour, maybe, but not 36 mph.

The first discovered specimen of Oviraptor is a little bigger than the
first discovered specimen of Velociraptor, and both are smaller than
Deinonychus.  However, other specimens of Oviraptor and its family show
that they got fairly big, and some species may have even been larger than
Deinonychus.

                                
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.                                   
tholtz@geochange.er.usgs.gov
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile                  Phone:      703-648-5280
U.S. Geological Survey                                FAX:      703-648-5420
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA  22092
U.S.A.