Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
|A restoration of Tarbosaurus bataar|
| Tarbosaurus bataar|
Tarbosaurus bataar (tar·bo·saur·us) (tar-bo-SORE-us) was a member of the dinosaur family of tyrannosaurids, which flourished during the Late Cretaceous Period (75 million years ago). In the past some paleontologists considered it a species of Tyrannosaurus, but that notion is pretty much gone now. It would have had to coexist with other, much smaller tyrannosaurids like Alectrosaurus and Alioramus.
PaleobiologyAlthough many specimens of this genus has been found, little definite data is confirmed on the dinosaur as of 1986, though it Tyrannosaurus rex, prompting many to place it in the Tyrannosaurus genus (the resulting designation would then be Tyrannosaurus bataar). The close similarities have also prompted some scientists to suggest a possible link between the North American and Eurasian continents at that time, perhaps in the form of a land bridge. Only one species of Tarbosaurus, T.bataar, has been officially established. Tarbosaurus lived in a humid floodplain crisscrossed by river channels. In this environment, a Riparian habitat, it was an apex predator at the top of the food chain, probably preying on other large dinosaurs like the hadrosaur Saurolophus or the sauropod Nemegtosaurus. Tarbosaurus is very well-represented in the fossil record, known from dozens of specimens, including several complete skulls and skeletons. These remains have allowed scientific studies focusing on its phylogeny, skull mechanics, and brain structure. Although smaller than 'Tyrannosaurus', Tarbosaurus was one of the largest tyrannosaurids. The largest known individuals were about 12 meters (39 feet) long. The mass of a fully grown individual has never been published, although it is estimated to have been slightly smaller than the average 'Tyrannosaurus', but possibly just as deadly.
In the Media
Tarbosaurus was featured in the Walking with Dinosaurs special, Chased by Giants, where it chased Nigel Marven around at the beginning, and then it met a Therizinosaurus and fought with it until it was slashed by the therizinosaur's claws and backed off. Tarbosaurus has also featured in the movie "The Dino King", Dinosaurs Alive, The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs, a South Korean series Tarbosaurus the Mightiest Ever, and even had its own 3D movie, Speckles: the Tarbosaurus, which tells the story of a Tarbosaurus orphaned because of an evil one-eyed 'Tyrannosaurus' and how it survived throughout the Cretaceous Period. It also featured in an episode of Animal Armageddon. Tarbosaurus is one of the playable Vivosaurs in Fossil Fighters series.