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T.res vs Spinosaurus scene in jurassic park 3.

Tyrannosaurus has made many appearances in popular culture.


Ever since its discovery, when its describer Henry Fairfield Osborn regarded T. rex as the greatest predator that ever walked the earth, the dinosaur has been known for being one of the largest carnivores on land. In 1905 Osborn said:

I propose to make this animal the type of the new genus, Tyrannosaurus, in reference to its size, which far exceeds that of any carnivorous land animal hitherto described...This animals is in fact the ne plus ultra of the evolution of the large carnivorous dinosaurs: in brief it is entitled to the royal and high sounding group name which I have applied to it.

- Osborn, 1905[1]
Wwd trex2
In the closing days of 1905, the New York Times praised T. rex as "the most formidable fighting animal of which there is any record whatever,"[2] bringing the dinosaur to the attention of the public.

In 1927, the paleoartist Charles Knight painted a mural that depicted Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops facing off against each other[3], which made them bitter enemies for life in the public consciousness.[4]


T. rex has appeared in the cinema since 1918, when the stop motion film The Ghost of Slumber Mountain hit the box office.[5] It appeared soon afterwards in The Lost World, King Kong, and the Fantasia movie (where it fought a Stegosaurus). Since then it has been a staple in dinosaur movies.

Phil Tippett's Prehistoric Beast

Phil Tippett's Prehistoric Beast

Phil Tippett's 1984 short featuring a correctly postured T. rex. Click play for a link to the Youtube page

T. rex was first depicted with proper anatomy and posture in the 1984 short Prehistoric Beast, created by Phil Tippett.

Perhaps the most famous appearances of Tyrannosaurus occur in the Jurassic Park novels and movies. They play a main role in all of these excepting the third film, where it was killed by a Spinosaurus. The sail-backed dinosaur then took the lead role.


T. rex has also starred in both fictional and non-fictional television series, namely the 6-part documentary Walking with Dinosaurs. Other documentaries have also featured T. rex, such as Jurassic Fight Club, Planet Dinosaur, Prehistoric Park, and many others.

It has appeared in many fictional series such as Doctor Who, Land of the Lost, Primeval, and several children's series like Barney & Friends and Dinosaur Train.

Miscellaneous appearancesEdit

Other appearances of T. rex include:

  • many video games such as Zoo Tycoon and its sequel
  • toys for children and high-quality models for collectors
  • as the name of a glam rock band
  • the Calvin and Hobbes comics
  • the webcomic Dinosaur Comics




  1. John "Jack" Horner and Don "Dino" Lessem, The Complete T. Rex (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993), pages 58–62
  2. Mining for Mammoths in the Badlands: How Tyrannosaurus Rex Was Dug Out of His 8,000,000 Year old Tomb,” The New York Times, December 3rd, 1905, page SM1.
  3. “Charles Knight: Prehistoric Visions of a Beloved Muralist” 2002 Field Museum, In the Field article by Alexander Sherman
  4. Bakker, R.T. 1986. The Dinosaur Heresies. New York: Kensington Publishing, p. 240. On that page, Bakker has his own T. rex/Triceratops fight.
  5. T. rex: A Dinosaur in Hollywood (2005 documentary)