When it comes to dinosaurs, there are those of us that can pronounce their names, and those who can't. For every person who can toss off Futalognkosaurus, Xiongguanlong, and Daspletosaurus like it's nothing, there are dozens of us who must try to slide through saying the words like a dizzy hippo riding a unicycle through butter. (Or better yet, just avoid saying them entirely.)
The thing is, when you learn what these names actually mean—for example, using the names from earlier, 'Giant Chief Lizard', 'Grand Pass Dragon', and 'Frightful Lizard'—it's hard not to come away thinking, "Well, if only they just used that as the name, it would be so much easier!" And, let's face it, more awesome, too.
That's why we're both relieved and thrilled to announce this brand new tyrannosaurid that needs no pronunciation guide.
It is what it says it is
Isn't that great? Seriously. 'Dynamo' plus 'terror' = name. It's so clean and simple. Allow us to demonstrate...
Hey, uh, what's this dinosaur's deal?
That one? Oh, that's Dynamoterror.
Whoa, enough said. Sounds like a nasty customer!
And true to its name, Dynamoterror was indeed a dino that you would not want to mess with. Measuring a little over 9 metres (30 feet), this was a top predator of its day (though it was definitely smaller than a T-rex). It shared many of the same characteristics of other dinosaur predators. Smaller forelimbs, a bipedal (two-legged) walking stance, a long tail for balance, and a massive head full of razor-sharp teeth.
More than just a name
Of course, there are many more reasons to dig Dynamoterror than its killer name. It represents one of the earliest tyrannosaurids ever found in North America. Click and drag to take a super cool 3D look at one of its bones below.
You see, T-rex actually dates from the very end of the dinosaur era—around 66 to 68 million years ago. Some of its other relatives go back to around 75 million years ago and later. But the Dynamoterror fossil is suspected to be 80 million years old. In other words, it may represent part of the chain of predator evolution that saw these beasts go from mighty terrors to lizard rulers!
But, uh ... about that name again
That's great news. Really. But can we bring the focus back to naming dinosaurs? We just honestly believe that we're on the edge of a real revolution here: Dinosaur names everyone can pronounce. We have some ideas ...
Just give it a thought, okay scientists?