Who named the T-Rex?

23 Jan

Every month I watch at least one of the Jurassic Park movies.

I couldn’t tell you why, as there’s nothing left to see or learn from them, but it’s just one of those things that caught my attention years ago and never let go.

The main part of this attraction is the dinosaurs. Like many people I am fascinated by these magnificent beasts and never tire of learning about them, be it through Michael Crichton’s books or my DVD series of Jurassic Fight Club.

And so it was I once again found myself slotting Jurassic Park 3 into the DVD for no other reason than I was in the mood for some beast-on-beast carnage.

To be honest, this was never my favourite film of the trio. It was just one too many cases of people being tricked into visiting Isla Sorna or Isla Nublar, being told they probably wouldn’t survive and then making it to safety anyway.

But it did have one thing I really liked – a new superpredator called Spinosaurus.


Now, in one of the best monster fights ever committed to celluloid, this finned beast took on and vanquished the mighty T-Rex, whose neck was broken in quite spectacular fashion.

And while rumours have long suggested he might reappear in Jurassic Park 4, all I knew was he had been a great villain who had earned his reputation.

However, the fight did make me wonder about who came up with the name. And it seems finders aren’t always keepers.

The first full T-Rex skeleton was discovered in Montana in 1902 by famous fossil hunter Barnum Brown, an assistant curator with the American Museum of Natural History.

However it was his boss, museum director Henry Fairfield Osborn (also the man behind Pentaceratops, Ornitholestes and Velociraptor), who got to name him in 1905, opting for a moniker which equated to “tyrant lizard king”.

Don’t feel too bad for Barnum though. He did get to name a few other dinosaurs including Ankylosaurus, Corythosaurus, Leptoceratops and Saurolophus. Not that they sound quite as terrifying . . .
In the meantime here’s the big fight I mentioned.



PS: If you’re as eager for JP4 as I am (doesn’t it seem like we’ve been waiting forever?) there’s a website that is solely dedicated to keeping track of all news, rumours and mentions. Visit it here

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