Dinosaur Graveyard


Dinosaur Names

Dinosaur:  Gorgosaurus

Pronunciation:  GOHR-go-SAWR-us

Translation:  fierce lizard

Location:  Western United States

Era:  Late Cretaceous Period, 80 million years ago

Length:  30 feet    Weight:  5,000 pounds

Diet:  Meat Eater

Fossils Found:  Nearly Complete Skeleton


Gorgosaurus in the News


Gorgosaurus Jaw


Gorgosaurus Claw

Tyrrell Gorgosaurus

Gorgosaurus, meaning "fierce lizard", is a genus of tyrannosaurid theropod dinosaur that lived in western North America between 80 and 73 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous Period. Like most known tyrannosaurids, Gorgosaurus was a multi-ton bipedal predator equipped with dozens of large, sharp teeth; it also bore tiny two-fingered forelimbs typical of its close relatives. Although relatively large for a theropod, Gorgosaurus was much smaller than its more famous relative Tyrannosaurus.

It was first described by paleontologist Lawrence Morris Lambe, in 1914 Since then more than 20 Gorgosaurus skeletons have been recovered, making it the best-represented tyrannosaurid in the fossil record. In some areas, it coexisted with another tyrannosaurid, Daspletosaurus, though there is some evidence of niche differentiation between the two. As an apex predator, Gorgosaurus was at the top of the food chain, probably preying on large dinosaurs like the ceratopsid Centrosaurus and the hadrosaur Hypacrosaurus.

While clearly a large and fearsome animal, Gorgosaurus was nonetheless much smaller than the truly gigantic tyrannosaurids like Tarbosaurus and Tyrannosaurus, and significantly more lightly-built than Daspletosaurus, which it appears to have coexisted with. Adults reached 7 to 8 meters (27 to 30 feet) from snout to tail, with an estimated weight of 2.5 tonnes (2.75 short tons). It had a massive skull almost a meters (39 inches) long; perched on a short S-shaped neck. Wide openings in the skull (fenestrae) reduced the weight of the head while also providing space for muscle attachment and sensory organs. Gorgosaurus has a more circular orbit than any other tyrannosaurid. It bore large curved teeth, tiny two-fingered front limbs, and powerful legs. Compared to the other tyrannosaurids, Gorgosaurus is most similar to its very close relative Albertosaurus.

Fossil range: Late Cretaceous
Gorgosaurus libratus
Gorgosaurus libratus
Conservation status
Extinct (fossil)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Family: Tyrannosauridae
Subfamily: Albertosaurinae
Genus: Gorgosaurus
Species: G. libratus
Binomial name
Gorgosaurus libratus


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