Nanotyrannus was a medium-sized dinosaur; however, it was small for a tyrannosaur. At only about 20 feet long, and weighing scarcely 1 ton, it was only about 1/3 the size of its enormous relative, and contemporary, T. rex. Nanotyrannus had a long, narrow snout, with many sharp, serrated teeth. It is green in colour, with black stripes covering its body, similar to a modern-day tiger.
Hunting Styles Edit
The Nanotyrannus is unique amongst most other theropods, in that it is not offended by the scent markings of other predators. Instead, quite the opposite, it actually uses them to its advantage. The Nanotyrannus will use these scent markings as a guide, to act as sort of a prehistoric GPS, in order to lead the predator straight to its prey. After the Nanotyrannus reaches its prey, it stalks slowly. Then, at the last second, it ambushes. It holds down the body of its victim, with its sharp and deadly foot claws. Then, after that, it crushes the victim's neck, with its jaws. It is believed that the Nanotyrannus had a bite force similar in its power to that of a modern-day hyena. It used this immense power, in order to kill its prey.
Nanotyrannus and T. Rex: One Dino, Or Two? Edit
Ever since the Nanotyrannus was first discovered, there has since long been a debate over whether or not it warrants a separate genus. This is very reminiscent of that age-old debate in taxonomy known as "lumping and splitting". Some scientists are classified as "lumpers"; this is because they allow for a substantial amount of variation within a particular taxon. And, so, they "lump" those specimens, into one big group. However, "splitters", on the other hand, believe that there is a little amount of variation, within a particular taxon. And, so, they "split" those specimens, into many different groups.
Nanotyrannus was first discovered in 1988, by Dr. Robert T. Bakker. At first, he considered it to be a completely separate species of small tyrannosaur. He suggested that it hunted in packs in order to bring down larger prey, citing the amount of shed Nanotyrannus teeth which he had found, at various digsites of his. However, later on, the skeleton of a T. rex specimen nicknamed "Jane" was found.