July 12, 2013
tyrannosaur (noun)
\tuh-RAN-uh-sor\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a very large North American flesh-eating dinosaur of the Cretaceous period that had small forelegs and walked on its hind legs
How do you use it?
The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, is home to "Sue," the most complete skeleton ever found of the king of tyrannosaurs, the T. Rex.
Are you a word wiz?

We know dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, but when do you think people began using the word "tyrannosaur"?

Did you dig up the right answer by choosing C? For animals that lived so long ago, the words we use for dinosaurs are pretty new. That's because before the mid-1800s, people didn't know anything about dinosaurs. Some bones and footprints had been found, but people thought they were from other kinds of animals or mythological creatures. The word "dinosaur" did not appear until the 1840s. "Tyrannosaur" is even more recent; its earliest use traces to the 1920s. It comes from "Tyrannosaurus," a combination of the Greek words "tyrannos" meaning "tyrant" and "sauros" meaning "lizard." The shortened form "T. Rex" goes back to the 1980s.
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