Eotyrannus (Greek for "dawn tyrant"); pronounced EE-oh-tih-RAN-us
Woodlands of Western Europe
Early Cretaceous (125-120 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 15 feet long and 300-500 pounds
Small size; relatively long arms with grasping hands
The tiny tyrannosaur Eotyrannus lived about 50 million years before more famous relatives like Tyrannosaurus Rex--and, following a common theme in evolution, it was much smaller than its giant descendant (the same way the original, mouse-sized mammals were much smaller than the human beings and elephants that evolved from them). In fact, the early Cretaceous Eotyrannus was so slender and lithe, with relatively long arms and legs and grasping hands, that to the untrained eye it might look more like a raptor (the giveaway is the lack of single, giant claws on each of its hind feet).