1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.




Dryptosaurus (Wikimedia Commons)


Dryptosaurus (Greek for "tearing lizard"); pronounced DRIP-toe-SORE-us


Woodlands of North America

Historical Period:

Late Cretaceous (75-70 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 20 feet long and one ton



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large size; relatively long arms


About Dryptosaurus:

Tyrannosaurus Rex gets all the press, but the tyrannosaur Dryptosaurus was actually discovered before its more famous cousin, by the famous paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope in 1866 (Cope originally named the new genus Laelaps, and then Dryptosaurus after it turned out the first name had already been taken). Classification-wise, Dryptosaurus wasn't recognized as an early tyrannosaur until years later, when its similarity to Appalachiosaurus, another relatively primitive example of the breed, sealed the deal. Discovered in New Jersey, Dryptosaurus is the second-most-popular dinosaur to hail from the Garden State, after Hadrosaurus.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.