Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
|An artist's illustration of Daspletosaurus torosus|
| Daspletosaurus torosus|
Daspletosaurus lived at the same time as its relatives Albertosaurus and Gorgosaurus. How two large meat-eating dinosaurs could have lived side-by-side is a mystery. Perhaps it was much like the African lion and the cheetah living together in East Africa today. These two cats have different methods of hunting, and they prey on different animals. The lion relies on stealth to get close to its prey (buffalo, zebra, etc.), and the slender, fast cheetahs run down
its prey. It is possible that Daspletosaurus, with its massive head and body, might have stalked the ceratopsians, while the more slender, quick Gorgosaurus might have run down hadrosaurs. Daspletosaurus and ceratopsians are less common than Gorgosaurus and hadrosaurs in the badlands of Alberta. There's some evidence say it is possible for it to be able to reach the very end of the Cretaceous period.
Discovery and naming
Daspletosaurus which means "frightful lizard" from the Greek dasples/δασπλής (dasples connective vowel resulting in daspleto) meaning "frightful" and sauros/σαῦρος was discovered and fully described in 1970 by Dale Russell in what we know as Alberta, Canada today, the type specimen "Daspletosaurus torosus" comes from the Latin torosus meaning "brawny" or "muscular".
In Popular Culture
- In Dinosaur Planet, a young Daspletosaurus named Das lives in a pack including his mother and two sisters. They make several attempts to take down a young Maiasaura named Buck but die in a volcano explosion. In the end, the narrator explains that Daspletosaurus has evolved into Tyrannosaurus Rex and a young T. rex shown with his mother looks very similar to Das.
- A Daspletosaurus appeared in several episodes of Dinosaur King.
- In Discovery Channel's documentary Secrets Of The Dinosaur Mummy At a Stormy night 77 Million Years Ago, A Pack of Five Daspletosaurus have been stalking a heard of Duck-Billed Dinosaurs called Brachylophosaurus. As one of them lethal predators is about to move in for the kill, One Brachylophosaurus named Leonardo rushes in to protect his heard. Leonardo bravely faced the Daspletosaurus. But then, The predator turned toward Leonardo & bit him on his right side. Sending Leonardo into the swollen river.
- Daspletosaurus featured in a dozen or so episodes of Dinosaur Train. One Daspletosaurus named Daphne was seen now & then in some of episodes along side with her dad Mr. Daspletosaurus.
- Daspletosaurus also appeared in Prehistoric Assassins "Claws & Jaws" Where it was hunting a Duck-Billed Dinosaur Corythosaurus.
- Daspletosaurus makes an appearance in Planet Dinosaur Last Killers, with a pack of them hunting down a Chasmosaurus, succeeding. However, the two larger Daspletosaurus stole their kill as the others will have to wait for their share of the kill. Also, in the same episode, Daspletosaurus makes another appearance in which they are waiting for the migration of a herd of Centrosaurus. The Daspletosaurus make their attack during a harsh rainstorm, killing some of the ceratopsians. Though, the Centrosaurus make it to a flooded river and start swimming across, and some are eaten by giant crocodilians, perhaps Deinosuchus, although some Centrosaurus make it to the other side. The next day, the carcasses are attracted by scavengers, especially Daspletosaurus.
- A Daspletosaurus Skeleton along with a Lambeosaurus Skeleton from The Field Museum of Natural History has been Briefly seen at beginning of Giant Screen Films 3D Movie Waking the T. rex: The Story of SUE.