The Alberta Lizard, Albertosaurus
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The Alberta Lizard, Albertosaurus

The Albertosaurus was a theropod that was native to western North America, particularly the Canadian province of Alberta. Albertosaurus lived around 70 million years ago, and is a relative of the Tyrannosaurid family. The name “Albertosaurus” comes from where the great majority of the skeletons were located, Alberta. Albertosaurus roughly translates to “Alberta Lizard”.

The Albertosaurus was one of the many dinosaurs that were discovered in the early 1900’s in North America. The first partial Albertosaurus skeleton was a skull found by the famous geologist Joseph Burr Tyrrell. The skull was found during an expedition of the Geological Survey of Canada in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation in Alberta, Canada. 

The first complete Albertosaurus skeleton was discovered in 1903 by Oliver Perry Hay, and in 1910, American palaeontologist Barnum Brown found numerous complete skeletons in Dry Island bonebed, which is located alongside the Red Deer River in Alberta, Canada.

While smaller and more streamlined than their larger cousin the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Albertosaurus was still a fearsome beast. Most Albertosaurus stood around 9 feet tall and were about 30 feet long in length, but some exceptional adults could grow to be 10 feet tall and 33 feet long. Albertosaurus weighed around 1.3 to 1.8 tons when full grown. Albertosaurus were very quick compared to other dinosaurs, scientists believe that adult Albertosaurus could run long distances while maintaining a speed of 8-13 miles per hour. Many scientists believe that unlike their cousin the Tyrannosaurus Rex that generally hunted alone, the Albertosaurus hunted in familial groups ranging from 4-12 individuals that ranged in age from young to adult. It is theorized that the majority of the adults in the group would go out hunting with the juveniles of the group, while one or two of the adults would stay behind to keep the Albertosaurus that were too young to join the hunt safe from harm.

When Albertosaurus walked this Earth, they were considered one of the apex predators at their time. Albertosaurus would hunt the majority of hadrosaurids such as Corythosaurus and some of the smaller ceratopsians like the Pachyrhinosaurus. When alone, Albertosaurus generally hunted prey smaller than themselves, while in groups, they hunted prey larger than themselves. Albertosaurus had few predators; only other larger Albertosaurus or full-grown ceratopsians or ankylosauridae such as the Euoplocephalus could hurt or kill an Albertosaurus. When young, the Albertosaurus was hunted by smaller theropods such as Deinonychus or even rival Albertosaurus from another family.

The Albertosaurus is a well-known dinosaur in Canada, but is not so well known throughout the rest of the world. While the Albertosaurus was a apex predator during its time here on Earth, it, like all the great titans of its time, fell victim to the never ceasing wheel of time and extinction.

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