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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
|An artist's illustration of Tarbosaurus bataar|
Olshevsky & Ford, 1995
| †Tarbosaurus bataar|
Maleev, 1955 [originally Tyrannosaurus]
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, 70 to 66 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 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.