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21 Lythronax Facts You'll Never Forget

One of the very interesting Lythronax facts is that they were the cousins of the famous T-rex!

Lythronax argestes share their roots with the Tyrannosauridae group, a family of gigantic coelurosaurs. They hail mostly from southern Laramidia in North America and Asia. It belongs to the same family as the T. Rex but is the oldest known tyrannosaurid discovered so far. The Natural History Museum of Utah, southern Utah, and Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument all made significant contributions towards its discovery and description of its evolution. The generic name Lythronax means 'king of gore', along with its specific name argestes. Discovered by Scott Richardson and alive about 80 million years ago, the specific name is similar to the name of the wind in North America's southern -western region. It was mentioned by the Greek poet Homer in his works. It belongs to the genus Lythronax (Loewen et al., 2013).

For more relatable content, check out these Changyuraptor facts and Savannasaurus facts for kids.

Lythronax Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Lythronax'?

The name Lythronax is pronounced 'Ly-fron-ax' from the genus Lythronax (Loewen et al., 2013).

What type of dinosaur was a Lythronax?

Lythronax is a genus of the tyrannosaurid-type dinosaur group that lived around 80.6–79.9 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous age in North America.

In which geological period did the Lythronax roam the Earth?

Frome the remains of this Lythronax tyrannosaur family, the same as the T-rex, we can estimate that these dinosaurs lived during the Late Cretaceous period, approximately 80.6–79.9 million years ago.

When did the Lythronax become extinct?

According to their fossil discovery, it has been approximated that the Lythronax tyrannosaur last appeared around 80 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period.

Where did a Lythronax live?

According to the evolutionary discovery from southern Utah in the Wahweap Formation of the Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument in 2009, this dinosaur lived in North America corresponding to the southern portion of the island of Laramidia. The Lythronax argestes tyrannosaurs fossil indicate that tyrannosaurid dinosaurs likely evolved in isolation on low-lying Laramidia due to incursion of the seaway.

What was a Lythronax's habitat?

Lythronax was primarily found in terrestrial areas with sedimentary rocks belonging to the Wahweap Formation, mostly the lower segment that can be radioisotopically dated to 79.6-80.75 million years ago. This area dates to the Campanian times. During the time the Lythronax lived, as mentioned earlier, the Western Interior Seaway found in low-lying areas had a wide extent, leading to an entire separation of southern Laramidia from the rest of North America.

The area where dinosaurs existed included lakes, areas in the proximity of the sea, floodplains, and rivers, primarily flowering eastwards. The geographic area of the Wahweap Formation is part of the Grand Staircase region that stretches south from Bryce Canyon National Park through Zion National Park and into the Grand Canyon.

Who did a Lythronax live with?

The Lythronax dinosaur was supposed to be the largest predator of its ecosystem from the genus Lythronax. It coexisted with other dinosaurs, such as the hadrosaurs Acristavus and Adelolophus, the ceratopsian Diabloceratops, and other ankylosaurs. Other species from the area included freshwater fishes, abundant rays and bowfins, sharks, turtles, smaller crocodilians, and lungfish belonging to the nearby sea. Also, numerous mammals lived in this region and their skeleton fragments have been unearthed. The mammals are believed to be more primitive than those that lived in the younger Kaiparowits Formation. The presence of a range of fossils also suggests crocodylomorphs, as well as ornithischian and theropod dinosaurs existed in Laramidia, North America. Evidence of some invertebrate activity has also been discovered in this formation. These include fossilized insect burrows, fossils of mollusks, large crabs, and a wide diversity of gastropods.

How long did a Lythronax live?

Lythronax dinosaurs are believed to have lived from the Middle to the Late Cretaceous period, approximately for the range from 80.6 million years ago to 79.9 million years ago in the geographic Laramidia region. We do not know the specific age range that these dinosaurs lived for yet.

How did they reproduce?

The evidence discovered suggests that the Lythronax dinosaur was oviparous, meaning they reproduced by laying eggs as opposed to viviparous. Viviparous animals give birth to their young ones.

Lythronax Fun Facts

What did a Lythronax look like?

Lythronax argestes is found to be a relatively robust tyrannosaurid, like its cousin the T-rex. The skeletons show smaller forelimbs with a pair of fingers, larger and stronger hindlimbs. The broad jaws are lined with teeth to serve its dietary needs well and owing to its evolution. Tyrannosauroidea dinosaurs possessed evolutionary protofeathers, varying amongst species or the age of an individual. The skull of Lythronax is strong and well-constructed. They have a relatively shorter snout with wider skull bones than its length by about 40%, as in other tyrannosaurids like Tarbosaurus and Tyrannosaurus. They also have more forward-facing orbits compared to Tarbosaurus and Tyrannosaurus, and the rears of their skulls were narrower. The skeleton appears to have stronger teeth, smaller feet, and a stronger Lythronax skull. Its skull anatomy suggests that the orbits (eye sockets) had both eyes facing the front, giving it depth perception. The 'king of gore' had a well-constructed physique justifying the title of the gore king awarded to them.

Lythronax is also known as the 'king of gore'.

How many bones did a Lythronax have?

L. argestes tyrannosaurs are the oldest known tyrannosaurid, based on their stratigraphic position. The specimens show a set of a completely preserved skull, a couple of pubic bones, a tibia, and a fibula. The metatarsal II-IV from the left hindlimb has also been unearthed along with a few other bones, all belonging to the same adult individual. The detailed anatomy of its skull suggests that the orbits (eye sockets) had both eyes facing the front, giving it deep perception and good vision.

How did they communicate?

It is unknown how exactly the gore king tyrannosaurs communicated with each other or dinosaurs of different species. Philip J. Senter, in the review of prehistoric animal sounds, a professor of Woology at Fayetteville State University and an American paleontologist famous for his research works that shed light on dinosaur paleobiology, believed that dinosaurs depended on hissing, clapping their jaws together, grinding mandibles against upper jaws, rubbing scales, and by the use of environmental elements like splashing against water using feet for establishing contacts.

It is also believed that dinosaurs communicated vocally and visually. These two prevalent modes of communication were exercised most during defensive posturing, courtship behavior, and territory fights.

How big was a Lythronax?

The exact measurements regarding a Lythronax's height and length are unknown. However, the Lythronax's size is estimated to be about 16.4-26.2 ft (5-8 m) in length.

How fast could a Lythronax move?

The gore king or the Lythronax argestes was actively mobile.

How much did a Lythronax weigh?

The weight of the Cretaceous Lythronax is based on the classification of the specimen collected. This dinosaur is estimated to have had a weight between 1,102.3-5,511.6 lb (500-2,500 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

Female and male Lythronax argestes dinosaurs are not given any different names.

What would you call a baby Lythronax?

Since the Lythronax argestes reproduced by laying eggs and the young ones were born when the eggs hatched, a baby Lythronax can be called hatchling or nestling. This generalized term can be used for all dinosaurs since they were all hatched from eggs. In the case of theropods, dinosaurs that resemble birds, a baby theropod can also be referred to as a chick.

What did they eat?

Their robust skull, with a well-constructed jawline and sharp teeth, suggest they were carnivores.

How aggressive were they?

These dinosaurs were one of the largest known predators with strong built and sharp teeth in the skeleton, suggesting that they had flesh-eating dietary preferences. Therefore, it could be safely assumed that they were very aggressive for their survival.

Did you know...

Lythronax differed from most other tyrannosaurids as it had a shortened skull. The broader rear that led to forwarding orbits are a consequence of its morphology and distinguish it from the rest of the tyrannosauroids in terms of direction. The discovery of the Lythronax specimen suggests that these characters had appeared a minimum of 80 million years ago. The orbits of Lythronax had an enhanced axis of view due to the increased distance between the orbits, also responsible for its deep perception. In 2006, paleontologist Kent Stevens suggested this helped the species when observing distant prey. It could also perform the three-dimensional detection of obstacles and maneuver itself using the direction and timing of lunges coupled with quick feet work.

What was the largest tyrannosaurid?

Scotty, discovered in 1991 and weighing 19,500 lb (8,845 kg) in life approximately, made it the most important and largest T. rex ever found. A specimen nicknamed Scotty (RSM P2523.8) is reported to be 42.6 ft (13 m) long when alive.

What time period did the Lythronax live in?

The holotype was found within the middle member of the Wahweap Formation, which is dated to the Cretaceous period's Campanian stage. Lythronax is therefore the oldest known member of the family Tyrannosauridae, and it's thought to possess more basal than Tyrannosaurus. The forward-facing eyes of Lythronax gave it depth perception, which can are useful during pursuit or ambush predation.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs from our Jeholosaurus interesting facts and Syntarsus surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable winged dinosaurs coloring pages.

Main image by Tomopteryx

Second image by ケラトプスユウタ

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