The Tyrannosaurus rex was already known as one of the biggest dinosaur species that roamed the face of the earth back then. They were also known to be one of the most immortalized dinosaur species on earth, thanks to their massive popularity bought by films such as Jurassic Park and Godzilla. These species were known to be the real and original beasts of the animal kingdom. Thus, we get curious about where these species ruled kings.
Where Did Tyrannosaurus Rex Live?
So, where did the Tyrannosaurus Rex live? The Tyrannosaurus rex lived mostly in western North America, particularly in the states of Wyoming and Montana. However, fossils were also discovered in places such as Alaska, Mexico, and even Australia and Asia.
The Cretaceous Period of Earth’s history witnessed the reign of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, a dinosaur primarily residing in North America. As a carnivorous land animal, the Tyrannosaurus Rex dominated its habitat, using the climate and environmental conditions to its advantage.
The field of Paleontology uncovers details about this dinosaur and its era through the study of fossils. These fossils, vital evidence of the prehistoric era, point to the Tyrannosaurus Rex’s presence and contributions to the ecosystem.
Table of Contents
Unfortunately, even a mighty predator like Tyrannosaurus Rex couldn’t escape extinction, an event marking a significant shift in geological era. Despite its end, the legacy of Tyrannosaurus Rex persists, documenting the fascinating journey of evolutionary changes and species adaptations.
I’ll cover in detail when and where the Tyrannosaurus lived back when they were still alive. I will also talk about the Tyrannosaurus’ habitat makeup and compare them to the modern-day makeup of these places. Finally, since the majority of the Tyrannosaurus rex was discovered in North America, we will try to find out if the dinosaur species was also able to reach the other side of the world, particularly in Asia and Australia.
When And Where Did Tyrannosaurus rex Live?
There have been many discussions about when and where the Tyrannosaurus rex lived when it was still alive. Here are some of the known discussions.
The Prime Dinosaurs Of The Late Cretaceous Era
The Tyrannosaurus rex reigned in the late Cretaceous era. They lived about 70 to 65 million years ago. It is important to note that the T.rex was among the last of the gigantic dinosaurs on earth back then. The T.rex lived in the Mesozoic era along with all the other non-bird dinosaurs.
The T.rex could have lived for probably not more than about 28 years each. It was because animal bones are like tree trunks: they accumulate growth rings each year. The growth rings suggested that the T.rex grew quickly — reaching the adult size even when they are still in their teens. Animals also died young during the era where no one survives that long compared to now. (Source)
The T-Rex Reigned Mostly in North America
The majority of the fossils found of the Tyrannosaurus rex were found mostly in North America, especially in the modern states of Wyoming and Montana.
The first-ever species of the T-rex were found in 1874 by Arthur Lakes near Golden, Colorado. Some postcranial elements were discovered in eastern Wyoming by John Bell Hatcher in the early 1890s.
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Some species were also discovered in Asia and Australia, suggesting that the T-rex were used to invade other places one time or another. Some scientists have recently unearthed a hip bone belonging to a T-rex at Dinosaur Cove in Victoria, Australia.
New studies have suggested that a total of 2.5 billion T.rex lived in North America, reaching as far as Alaska to the north and Mexico to the south, over a span of two to three million years. Thirteen of the known Tyrannosaurus rex fossils were found underneath the earth in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Archaeologists have found seven of these specimens in Montana, four in South Dakota, one in the state of Wyoming, and another one in Saskatchewan.
The Makeup Of The North America Of The T-rex
The Tyrannosaurus rex is believed to have lived in forests, near rivers, and other open areas and full of prey for them to eat. Even though modern Wyoming and Montana are dry and grassy, the places where the T-rex lived probably resembled a Louisiana floodplain.
YouTube Video On How the Tyrannosaurs Ruled the World With Paleontologist David Hone
It also helped them that the temperature of the world back then was colder than it is now. Thus, lush plant life supported a diverse range of animals, ranging from other species of dinosaurs to mammals to other insects.
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Habitat Of The Tyrannosaurus
Now that it was settled let us learn more about the Tyrannosaurus habitat back then.
The T-rex Thrived in Swampy Habitats
Throughout their stay here on earth, these dinosaurs were most likely to have lived in a wide range of habitats. However, it is very important to remember that the physical makeup of earth today is never the same as the physical makeup of earth back then.
The landscape was very different 65 million years ago throughout the world, including the temperature. Most scientists believe that these dinosaurs have lived in areas with high levels of humidity and semi-tropical temperatures. These include coastal swamps, open forests, and more places that are close to water sources.
The Hunting Grounds Of The Tyrannosaurus Rex
Recent discoveries suggested that the Tyrannosaurus rex may have hunted together in packs, the same way wolves do. The T-rexes were so massive that they could not run without hurting themselves. The sheer size of the T.rex has drawbacks as well. They cannot move too fast because anything faster than 12 mph, their bones would have shattered. (Source)
Thus, there is a need for the T-rex to hunt in packs so that they will not find it hard to hunt on their own, even though they can hunt by themselves at times. They frequented the swampy shores of North America to hunt for prey, with a wide variety of options to choose from, such as birds, mammals, insects, and other dinosaur species. (Source)
The T-rex Was Not The Same As The One In Films
Further recent discoveries have uncovered several facts suggesting that what we saw on film in Jurassic Park is not entirely true, aside from the other fictional events that happened in the film.
According to the scientists, the T.rex most likely preferred walking at 3 miles per hour, under the average walking speed for humans. That means the T.rex took a while to hunt for food, find some water, and search for an area to stay for habitat and food.
Another study has suggested that due to the massive size of the T.rex, a single adult T.rex lived in an area roughly 40 square miles in size, about the size of Manhattan or San Francisco. A T.rex would take more than 13 hours to survey an area this huge.
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Ultimate Guide to Tyrannosaurus Rex
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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.
Did T-Rex Live In Asia?
We all know that the Tyrannosaurus rex lived and prospered in North America, where it died eventually. However, some are saying that this dinosaur species might have Oriental origins, contrary to popular belief.
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The T-rex Might Have Come From Asia
Even though most of the Tyrannosaurus rex were discovered in North America, some experts have realized that these are not native to North America after all.
Some paleontologists have suggested that the Tyrannosaurus rex was more likely an invasive species that came from Asia. They have dispersed into western North America over time, where they all died in the end.
There is lacking fossil evidence to support this claim. Still, some of the researchers have suspected that the predecessors of the Tyrannosaurus rex lived on Pangaea, the supercontinent, and then began to break up about 300 million years ago, during the Triassic period.
It explains why the Tyrannosaurus rex remains were found scattered on different continents, such as western North America (then called Laramidia), Europe, and eastern North America, which was then called Appalachia.
Changes Between The Asian Tyrannosaurus And The American Ones
The Tyrannosaurus evolved depending on where they started to live, meaning that the Tyrannosaurus that grew up in Asia look different than their brothers in North America. These two continents used to stand side by side with each other, until around 67 million years ago, when the seaway between North America and Asia went down. (Source)
It left a land bridge between the two continents. As mentioned before, even though most of the fossils were discovered in western North America, the skeletal features of the Tyrannosaurus rex suggest that it is indeed Asian in origin.
The Asian Relatives Of The Tyrannosaurus Rex
Some scientists have shown the connection between two other Asian tyrannosaurs, the Tarbosaurus and the Zhuchengtyrannus, and their North American counterparts. They said that the Tarbosaurus is the Asian version of the T-rex, which can be applied vice-versa.
This observation can be attributed to their similarities in their size, proportions, jaw muscles, and teeth. According to the scientists who proposed this claim, it is more distantly related to the other species, the Zhuchengtyrannus.
The Tyrannosaurus rex has reigned for millions of years as one of the most well-known dinosaur species worldwide. Even though it was discovered in North America, some have suggested that they must have originated from Asia and migrated to the other side of the world just in time for breaking up Pangaea into what is the actual makeup of the continents now. Thus, it is safe to say that they have adapted to their surroundings quickly, which is a prime reason they flourished until their demise.
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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).