Even the strongest and fiercest dinosaur on the planet would have some rivals and enemies when it comes to securing their prey and territory. That is absolutely the case for a Tyrannosaurus rex, who have dominated the land of the Cretaceous, being the apex predator. Let us know more about the enemies that keep this dinosaur vigilant at all times and understand why T.rex was the tyrant king during its existence.
What Are The Tyrannosaurus Rex Enemies?
Studies show that no dinosaur could match the power of T.rex, the apex predator of the Cretaceous. There are, however, some dinosaurs like Spinosaurus, Triceratops, and Sauropods that pose a danger to T.rex. Diseases like avian infection and cancer tumors may have been the greatest natural enemy of T.rex.
Among the apex predators of the Cretaceous Period was the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex. However, this behemoth faced threats from multiple aspects of its environment. Ankylosaurus, a herbivorous dinosaur, surprised many by resisting T-Rex attacks with its hardened armored body and thick club-like tail.
Steel-horned Triceratops posed a monumental challenge with their formidable defense. Cunning Velociraptors and strong Spinosaurus, Giganotosaurus, and Allosaurus were also considerable adversaries. Even the smaller but spiked-tail Stegosaurus wasn’t underestimated.
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The most complex struggles T-Rex faced were often within their own kind where battles erupted over crucial resources. Yet certain threats didn’t come from other beings, but from the precarious Cretaceous environment itself, as unpredictable climate changes and natural disasters apparently loomed.
Moreover, T-Rex grappled with silent killers like starvation, diseases, and the inevitable process of ageing, impacting not only survival but also their ruling status.
Lastly, where dinosaurs weren’t the immediate threat, there resided the colossal Deinosuchus, a prehistoric crocodile vying for similar resources in shared habitats. Fossil records stand as a testament to these survival battles, chronicling the relentless fight the T-Rex endured to secure its place in history.
This article talks about the toughest dinosaur enemies of T.rex and how they can match the T.rex’s power when hunting and battle. I will also talk about how a T.rex protects itself against attacks using its natural armor, its body parts. Lastly, I included some findings of the diseases that may have been the cause of the death of tyrannosaurus rex.
Dinosaurs that Would Have Frightened T.rex
Tyrannosaurus rex is the dominant predator in the Late Cretaceous. It is the largest dinosaur belonging to the family of tyrannosauridae, and its powerful bite made it the strongest carnivorous animal during its time. Hence, there is no dinosaur that can match T.rex.
However, some dinosaurs that T.rex might have been afraid of because of their bigger size and vital body parts used as armors during battle. These creatures would have caused the T.rex a need to defend itself with all its might. These creatures would have also tried to make the T.rex its prey but failed and became the prey themselves. (Source)
Studies suggest that T.rex may have been cannibalistic. They may have been prey with their same species when resources lacked or may have also tried to battle for superiority. Adult T.rexes have also fought over territory to be the dominant dinosaur in their land.
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YouTube Video About The 5 Most Terrifying T-Rex Enemies
YouTube video by TheTopMan 2.0 which shows five dinosaurs that might have challenged the T. Rex – AdventureDinosaurs
Edmontosaurus can also pose possible harm to T.rex because of its big build. These duck-billed giants did not live long enough but may have been harmful once they reached their full potential.
Triceratops, an armored prey, is Tyrannosaurus’ most common rival. It is a massive herbivore with three strong, powerful horns that could easily penetrate T.rex’s skin in one swing. Triceratops also have a bony frill and are known to defend themselves well with a T.rex attack.
Another T.rex enemy is an armored dinosaur called Ankylosaurus, a heavily armored dinosaur with a tail club that could break the predator’s bones. It is believed to be too small to match T.rex, but its small size can be used to the creature’s advantage. Since it is small, T.rex would have no way but to attack from the top, and the animal can turn quickly to avoid attacks from T.rex.
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A Spinosaurus, a 50 feet long dinosaur, 9 feet longer than the biggest T.rex, is not underestimated. Scientists say that it’s the only aquatic dinosaur ever found. Spinosaurus has a long jaw with interlocking front teeth like that of a crocodile. It also has long front legs with footlong claws for tearing prey into small pieces and 7-feet tall body spikes at its back. There is no doubt that a Spinosaurus would be a deserving opponent for T.rex with these dangerous armors.
The giant Sauropods such as Apatosaurus and Diplodocus are also on for a battle. They have a tall body composition, long neck, and tiny head. They used their tails as whips during battle.
The article you are reading is one of the 17 Series Articles connected to the Ultimate Guide to Tyrannosaurus Rex. Check out the Ultimate Guide or other key Series Articles selected for you at the bottom of the article!
Ultimate Guide to Tyrannosaurus Rex
Main Article – With Links to 17 Series Articles
❖ Read Now! The Ultimate Guide to Tyrannosaurus Rex
The main article in the series, it is packed with information all about the King of the Dinosaurs. it provides information about the first discovery, some of the latest fossil findings, and covers the anatomy of the dinosaur. Following this, it provides a look at the classification and phylogeny. The places, where T. Rex fossils have been found are described and a few of the key fossil skeletons are described. The master article also covers:
—Interesting facts you may not know about T. Rex
—Unanswered questions about the T. Rex
—Links to the Series Articles (17 in total!) which give deeper info on the dinosaur.
T.Rex Body Parts Used as Weapons During Fight
With T.rex’s robust body built and natural predatory trait, taking down an enemy is an easy task. T.rex has a giant skull that can reach up to 1.52 meters in length. Furthermore, its jaws are known to be one of its greatest assets for hunting and during duels. T.rex’s bite force is extremely powerful, measuring up to 114 times stronger than a human bite. It is so powerful it could crush a car with one bite. With the help of its stiff skull, it can channel all the force from the muscles to power a bite that delivers up to six tons of pressure.
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The oval, thick cross-section teeth are the fuel for T.rex’s powerful bite. It had a very strong set of sharp teeth, counting up to 60 serrated teeth of up to 8 inches long each. These monstrous teeth pierce and grip flesh, throw enemies into the air, swallow the prey whole, and can withstand the stress of struggling prey. It also hypothesized that T.rex has septic bites, producing a lethal bite to its opponent. A bite from a T.rex can cause a serious bacterial infection to its enemy. T.rex’s teeth resemble that of a Komodo, with spaces between each tooth, where grease and food particles accumulate, leading to colonization of septic bacteria.
T.rex had a keen sense of smell. Its powerful snout helps it detect other predators and could give a signal that danger is on its way, that it should be ready any minute for combat.
We also would not want to miss on T.rex’s tiny but powerful arms and claws. These arms are relatively short compared to their massive build having only two fingers, which had the scientists thinking if it had any use to the dinosaur’s body. Despite their small size, these arms were muscular, measuring about 3 feet long, and were able to pull up to 180 kilograms. These findings were estimated by measuring the biceps of the animals, and paleontologists believed that these arms were used to slash prey when it was in close proximity.
Along these arms are the sharp claws that could cause deadly wounds to prey. The strong forelimbs and large claws allow the T.rex to grasp prey, inflicting several centimeters deep wounds to the enemy.
Furthermore, the T.rex’s long, muscular body, which could stretch up to 40 feet from snout to tail end (the length of a school bus), does indeed make it a suitable combatant. Rexes could weigh up to eight tons with two strong legs that can easily stomp on small prey.
What Could Beat the Powerful T.rex
Relative to its size, Spinosaurus can be a match to T.rex. It is the largest carnivorous dinosaur on land in its time and was considered more dominant in terms of body size, despite having smaller brains. Although tyrannosaurus body structure looks stronger, we won’t know who’ll win in a battle as they do not exist simultaneously. (Source)
T.rex is an apex predator. They are the largest dinosaurs that ever lived during the Late Cretaceous. Studies have proven that T.rex was one of the strongest dinosaurs on the planet, so only a few enemies could have beaten T.rex.
Avian Parasitic Infection
However, the disease is one natural enemy that even the strongest dinosaur cannot beat. Some T.rex fossils often display multiple lesions on the mandible and were often perceived as head trauma and injuries from biting during a battle with other creatures. These lesions were often attributed to bacterial bone infection from bite wounds from other tyrannosaurids (T.rex has a septic bite).
But a study conducted in the specimen called Sue says otherwise. Several other dinosaur specimens possess the same lesion on their mandible, and the study results show that the lesions are similar to those caused by avian parasitic infection. This infection comes from Trichomonas gallinae (the same parasite to hit birds to this day), which causes similar effects on the mandible of modern birds.
The avian infection may have killed these dinosaurs, not the bone infections and traumas they got during a battle. Furthermore, the possible cross-species transmission may have happened through water-borne transmission, consumption of infected prey, cannibalism, or snout to snout contact with other infected dinosaurs. The difficulty in feeding caused by the lesions in their mandible would have led T.rex to starve to death.
Scientists have identified benign tumors in T.rex fossils. A team of paleontologists and pathologists discovered a massive and possibly lethal brain tumor in the fossilized skull of Gorgosaurus. Cliff and Sandy Linster discovered the remains in western Montana in 1997. This relative of T.rex measured 25 feet long and lived 72 million years ago.
Bone-forming cancer called extraskeletal osteosarcoma fills parts of the brain, impairing its memory and impaired mobility and balance. Gorgosaurus, smaller and faster than T.rex, was probably killed by a rare brain disease during its youth. (Source)
Even the strongest animal to ever live on the planet is no exception to enemies and death. Tyrannosaurus rex may have been the king of all dinosaurs in the time of its existence, having no other creature to match its power. Still, like any other animals and even humans, they could not get away with old age and diseases, which would certainly lead to death, leaving only traces of how they battled in their past life.
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With over 5 years dedicated to exploring the world of dinosaurs, Michael is a key voice on adventuredinosaurs.com. He holds a BBA, and an MSc in Economics, and is currently enrolled in a certificate paleontological studies at the University of Alberta, Canada. His professional journey, including roles at Nokia and Amino Communications, is complemented by a deep-rooted passion for paleontology. This enthusiasm is further fueled by visits to global Natural History Museums and an ambition to join renowned paleontological digs.
While Michael actively engages with paleontologists and aspires for collaborations, his writings on adventuredinosaurs.com stand as a testament to his commitment, blending business insights with a profound appreciation for the ancient world. He has been fascinated with dinosaurs since childhood and is fortunate enough to have visited fossil museums in Europe (UK, Germany, and Spain), the US (California, Texas), and Asia (China).