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Gorgosaurus libratus (Osborn, 1905)

Name Means: "Gorgon Lizard" Length:  
Pronounced: al-BURR-to-SORE-us Weight:  
When it lived: Late Cretaceous period, about 76-74 million years ago.    
Where found: Alberta, Canada    


    Gorgosaurus was a member of the tyrannosaur family that was first described by paleontologist Lawrence Morris Lambe in 1914. Over 20 Gorgosaurus skeletons have been recovered, making it the most well-represented tyrannosaurid in the fossil record.  They were found in western Canada and the United States.
  Generally similar to Tyrannosaurus and most other large tyrannosaurids, Gorgosaurus had a massive head, 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.
    Gorgosaurus was named for the Gorgons, who were three mythical Greek monsters (sisters) with snakes for hair - they turned people who looked at them to stone. The name remained in use until the 1970s when a major study of the family Tyrannosauridae concluded that Gorgosaurus and Albertosaurus were the same genus, and that the only differences between the two were suggested not only by comparisons of dissimilar growth stages, but also by variations between populations. Albertosaurus was named first, so according to the rules of biological nomonclature, its name had priority.  Gorgosaurus libratus became Albertosaurus libratus. 
    However, recent work done by paleontologist Phillip Currie at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology has shown that these two dinosaurs are, in fact, separate and valid genera.
  Thus the original genus name has been restored and Albertosaurus libratus is once again Gorgosaurus.


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