This artistic representation shows a Tyrannosaurus rex hunting Gallimimus dinosaurs during the Cretaceous period. (Image credit: Science Photo Library – LEONELLO CALVETTI/Getty Images)

The top predator of the Jurassic and Cretaceous landscapes was usually a species of meat-eating dinosaur (opens in new tab). These predators walked on two legs, had powerful jaws lined with sharp teeth and included species from groups known as tyrannosaursspinosaurs and carcharodontosaurs.

Tyrannosaurus rex, the goat-eating, jeep-chasing tyrannosaur from the movie Jurassic Park, was the apex predator of North America just before dinosaurs went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous Period (opens in new tab). Although iconic, T. rex was only one species of many large, meat-eating dinosaurs that dominated various ecosystems at different times over the 130 million years of dinosaur reign.


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