Name: Lythronax argestes
Name Meaning: Clearing Gore King
First Described: 2013
Described By: Loewen et al.
Classification: Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Neotheropoda, Averostra, Tetanurae, Orionides, Avetheropoda, Coelurosauria, Tyrannoraptora, Tyrannosauroidea, Tyrannosauridae, Tyrannosaurinae
Requested by Lythronax-Argestes-the-Gore-King!
Lythronax is famous for being one of the earliest known tyrannosaurids, and also being fairly morphologically similar to T. rex. Lythronax lived between 80.6 and 79.9 million years ago, in the Campanian age of the Late Cretaceous, and lived in the Kaiparowits Formation of Utah. This region is part of Laramidia. It, like T. rex, had forward facing eyes, giving it binocular vision – a huge advantage for a predatory dinosaur, as it would have allowed it to judge distances. It also had very large, banana-esque teeth in its jaws, meaning they were round and curved back toward the throat. These teeth were well adapted for crunching through bone, rather than slicing through flesh like in carnosaurs. Its teeth were also serrated, making it an efficient hunter.
During the time that Lythronax was active, the inland sea in North America was at its widest, cutting off Lythronax’ habitat from the rest of the North America, allowing Lythronax and other tyrannosaurids to develop specialized predatory features, such as its powerful jaws. It has been suggested that Laramidia is the original home of the tyrannosaurid group. Lythronax was probably the largest predator of its ecosystem, living near lakes, floodplains, and rivers in a wet and seasonal climate. It lived alongside the hadrosaur Acristavus, the ceratopsian Diabloceratops, and some ankylosaurs and pachycephalosaurs. It also lived alongside many types of fish, rays and sharks, turtles, crockodilians, and mammals. Trace fossils from this region indicate that maniraptorans were also in the area, and that predatory dinosaurs did feed on mammals. It is very likely that Lythronax was feathered.
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