Temporal range: Late Cretaceous
Daspletosaurus torosus by durbed-d5qrn58.jpg
An artist's illustration of Daspletosaurus torosus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Theropoda
Genus: Daspletosaurus
Russell, 1970
Species: D. torosus
Binomial name
Daspletosaurus torosus
Russell, 1970
With its massive head and large teeth, there is no question that Daspletosaurus (das·ple·to·saur·us) was an apex predator and was one of the largest tryannosaurs. It got its name because of its apparent ferociousness; its name means "frightful lizard." Daspletosaurus was a carnivorous dinosaur that lived in the Cretaceous Period. It is devolved from (meaning it evolved into) Tyrannosaurus rex and other tyrannosaurids. Similar to other members, it had a powerful jaw and short arms. It had a huge body balanced upon two powerful back legs. The three-toed taloned feet (much like those of a modern bird) probably held the prey down while it ate. Like all tyrannosaurids, the front limbs were short and had only two fingers each. An attack from a Daspletosaurus or its relative Albertosaurus would have been a nasty way to go, due to their brute strength, robust teeth and jaws powerful enough to puncture through bone.



Two Daspletosaurus attack an Edmontonia

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

Daspletosaurus from Dinosaur Planet

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 mo
    PD Dasplet

    Daspletosaurus's appearance from BBC Planet Dinosaur

    ther 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.
Tyrannosaur Rivalry - Planet Dinosaur - Episode 3 - BBC One

Tyrannosaur Rivalry - Planet Dinosaur - Episode 3 - BBC One




  • Daspletosaurus with feathersGo to Feathered Tyrannosaurs
  • Daspl