Skull structure and evolution in tyrannosaurid dinosaurs

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Tyrannosauridae can be subdivided into two distinct subfamilies-the Albertosaurinae and the Tyrannosaurinae. Previously recognized subdivisions Aublysodontinae and Shanshanosaurinae are rejected because they are based on insufficient material and juvenile specimens. Our results are based upon a phylogenetic analysis using PAUP program (Swofford 1999) of 77 skull characters and seven genera (Albertosaurus, Alioramus, Daspletosaurus, Gorgosaurus, Nanotyrannus, Tarbosaurus, and Tyrannosaurus); with Allosaurus as outgroup. Of the 77 characters used, more than half were parsimony informative. A single most parsimonious tree was obtained with the Tree Length being 88. The analysis of cranial characters and comparison of postcranial features reveal that Tarbosaurus bataar is not the sister taxon of Tyrannosaurus rex (contra Holtz 2001). Their similarities are partially due to the fact that both are extremely large animals. Thus, Tarbosaurus should be considered a genus distinct from Tyrannosaurus.

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  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
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  • License
    © 2003 Polish Academy of Sciences, Institue of Paleobiology. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Currie, P. J., Hurum, J. H., & Sabath, K. (2003). Skull structure and evolution in tyrannosaurid dinosaurs. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 48, 227-234.