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Featured article Albertosaurus is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on February 11, 2011.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
June 9, 2006 Peer review Reviewed
June 22, 2006 Featured article candidate Promoted
November 22, 2008 Featured topic candidate Not promoted
Current status: Featured article


In running through this excellent article, I noticed repetition of size/weight data. Although I can see the relevance of this, it jolted a bit - does anyone agree to merging the data, in one or other location? - Ballista 03:13, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, probably an oversite to begin with.Dinoguy2 03:25, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Info in the lead should probably be generalized rather than directly parroted from the Description section, I think. Some mention of its size needs to be made in the lead but perhaps not that specific. Will fix this soon. Sheep81 04:01, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Wow! You guys are quick onto stuff. - Ballista 04:14, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

All right, I think I cleaned up the lead to address your concerns and others on the peer review page. Please feel free to make any edits you think would improve the article of course!! Sheep81 04:37, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Red links[edit]

I've created Lawrence Lambe, to help tidy up red links in Albertosaurus. There's a few to go, to make it look prettier! :-) - Ballista 04:13, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

I've created mini-stubs for Dale Russell and William Parks, also to tidy up Albertosaurus a bit. - Ballista 04:31, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Awesome! Maybe I can add something to them later (not that I really know that much). Sheep81 04:37, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

I hope so! - Can you (or anyone else} do anything on Horseshoe Canyon Formation or the Cleveland-Lloyd Quarry? The former is a red link on our Wikipedia:WikiProject Dinosaurs/formations page. That would eliminate current red links in Albertosaurus. I've also created a mini-stub for Chitake River, so it's only the two geology ones left, now. - Ballista 05:05, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

I did Horseshoe Canyon. - Ballista 05:12, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

And sorted Cleveland-Lloyd Quarry link (easier than expected). - Ballista 05:18, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks! I had a feeling Cleveland-Lloyd already had an article, but I wasn't sure. Sheep81


I should admit straight away that I HATE paleoboxes. Redundant, ugly, self-referential, and often incorrect. Taxoboxes add something to an article, paleoboxes just regurgitate information that the reader could get if he actually took the time to read the article itself. Furthermore, I very much doubt that any article containing a paleobox (at least in its current form) will ever get featured. But perhaps they are useful for some articles (with major improvements to the template, that is). In this case, I think the box is totally unnecessary. Most of the information provided in the paleobox is found in the very first two paragraphs of the article, and the rest is in the taxobox. I don't see the need to further dumb down the article when the information is already very easy to find. Discussion welcomed, however. Sheep81 01:00, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Agree with all points.Dinoguy2 03:00, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

FAC this article?[edit]

Well, nobody except for us seemed to reply to the peer review and with the latest copyedits by several people and new article creations by Ballista, I think this article is pretty stable. Does anyone else think we should nominate it for a feature besides me? Sheep81 00:57, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Go for it, looks good to me.Dinoguy2 02:16, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I should have thought it was well worth a go. - Ballista 02:45, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I think I'll wait a few more days maybe to give the peer review a little more time. I kinda doubt anyone will respond but we'll see I suppose. Of course if somebody ELSE nominated the article, I wouldn't object. :) Sheep81 04:26, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, realizing that by some cosmic mistake I have the next three days off in a row and that I might not be gettng many days off in the weeks after, I decided to FAC it now so that I have time to work on it with ya'll. (see link above) Sheep81 09:52, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Random trivia[edit]

This is probably too trivial to mention in the article itself, but I thought it was interesting that Alberta was given provincial status in 1905, the same year that Albertosaurus was named.

Au contraire, I feel that it is a nice piece of trivia and potentially of interest to some. Why not incorporatre it in a sentence, e.g.: "The name honors Alberta, the Canadian province in which the fossil remains were found and was given in the same year that Alberta was granted its provincial status" - A dinosaur article could actually, IMO, do without: "and which itself is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the sixth child and fourth daughter of Queen Victoria of Great Britain." - Ballista 09:14, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
You are probably right, a reader can click on Alberta and read that information there if they like. I added the trivia as a separate sentence, but if you think it goes better the way you wrote it or some other way, go ahead and edit it accordingly. Sheep81 09:28, 9 June 2006 (UTC)


This page is using my skeletal image of a juvenile Gorgosaur libratus. That is incorrect. Also, it is without my permission as far as I can recall. Unless proper arrangements are made please remove this and any examples of my work. (Gregory Paul)

The image has been removed. It was found uncredited on a BLM (federal government) website so it was assumed to be fair game. Sorry about the mixup. Sheep81 18:03, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
What BLM website is that? Looks like I will have to have a discussion with them. (GP)

Dinotyrannus megagracilis[edit]

Paul (1988) originally named Dinotyrannus as a species of Albertosaurus, A. "megagracilis". However, Olshevsky (1995) gets the credit for erecting the name Dinotyrannus megagracilis because Rauhut (2000) noted that Paul had not only failed to provide a diagnosis or illustrations of Dinotyrannus, but also cited the wrong reference. For this reason the authorship for Dinotyrannus megagracilis should be Olshevsky, 1995 and Albertoaurus "megagracilis" Paul, 1988 is a nomen nudum for Dinotyrannus megagracilis.

G. S. Paul. 1988. Predatory Dinosaurs of the World. Simon & Schuster, New York 1-464.

Olshevsky, G. 1995. [The origin and evolution of the tyrannosaurids.] Kyoryugaku Saizensen [Dino Frontline] 9: 92–119. [in Japanese]

Rauhut (2000). "The interrelationships and evolution of basal theropods (Dinosauria, Saurischia)". Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. Bristol [U.K.]: 1-440. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:15, 14 January 2007 (UTC).

This is incorrect. Paul did provide a diagnosis: "extremely atrophied forelimbs, down-bent nasals, very long snout, and long hindlimbs", all explicitly indicated to differentiate the taxon from related forms. Whether this was explicitly called a diagnosis or whether it was factually correct, is irrelevant. So the criteria of ICZN 13.1.1. and Recommendation 13A are clearly met. Whether an illustration was provided is irrelevant too. That "Molnar, 1980" was referred to as "Molnar, 1978" doesn't matter either: the reference to another statement is not a necessary condition and as it is an evident lapsus calami it clearly meets the condition of being "a bibliographic reference".--MWAK (talk) 06:11, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

New Mexican statue?[edit]

The photo in the taxobox is from an article on the discovery of an Albertosaurus from New Mexico. This, coupled with the fact that GSP's "Albertosaurus" libratus skeletals are fatured there, probably means it is meant to depict libratus. Should the image be moved to Gorgosaurus, since we're treating them as seperate genera? Dinoguy2 06:37, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

I guess that makes sense. I wish we had an image to replace it with... Sheep81 07:46, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
  • There's the skeleton photo, we could maybe use it temporarily. By the way, there are some red links in the paleoecology section, isn' that "bad" for featured articles? FunkMonk (talk) 10:15, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Weekend project for someone[edit]

I think that there is a need for a species summary section a la Massospondylus, Iguanodon, or other relatively recent FAs, but it should not be bullet points, and to be comprehensive needs about ten or twelve entries (see here (if you scroll down), here, or here). Sounds like a weekend project for someone with time on their hands. J. Spencer (talk) 00:14, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

I've completed such a section (didn't quite take me a weekend :o) hoping to have covered all species, though not all their synonyms when they in fact were not Albertosaurus. The only puzzle is "Albertosaurus planicostatus" which seems to be some lapsus calami by Currie and thus was left out. A bullet point species list can be provided also, if desired.--MWAK (talk) 15:56, 1 May 2012 (UTC)


Since this species is primarily found in Alberta, shouldn't the article have Canadian spelling? 117Avenue (talk) 22:57, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

With no response, I am going ahead with the changes. 117Avenue (talk) 02:36, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

I've italicized all ocurrences of Laelaps. Please correct if I'm wrong.[edit]

The genus name Laelaps ocurred in several places in the article in double quotes.
AFAIK Laelaps is a standard taxonomic name and should be italicized.
If there's some reason why that doesn't apply here, please fix my edits. Thanks.

-- (talk) 02:49, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

If you're referring to the synonym of Dryptosaurus, then it is technically a senior synonym (as well as being preoccupied by Laelaps (mite)), and linking to Dryptosaurus would be more appropriate. If you're referring to the arachnid, then no qualms here.

--Raptormimus456 (talk) 15:28, 23 January 2013 (UTC)


The article states "In addition, several albertosaurine specimens have been recovered from Alaska and New Mexico, and Currie suggested that the Albertosaurus-Gorgosaurus situation may be clarified once these are described fully." Isn't Bistahieversor one of these? Did it "clarify" anything? And another thing, most of the photos of Albertosaurus on Commons turned out to be of Gorgosaurus, so watch out for such. FunkMonk (talk) 06:08, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Not really, at least not yet. Initial studies found Bistahieverser to be a non-albertosaurine tyrannosaurid, while the official description found it to be outside tyrannosauridae completely. Mortimer at TTD finds it to be an albertosaurine more basal than Albertosaurus and Gorgosaurus (close to the common ancestor of the group?), but also finds things like Appalachiosaurus and Dryptosaurus to be tyrannosaurids (er... Dryptosaurids!). MMartyniuk (talk) 12:17, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Running speed?[edit]

According to the article, albertosaurus could only run slightly slower than a human, at best. Does that not seem severely flawed, especially given that its larger and heavier relative tyrannosaurus is thought to be capable of speeds over 20 mph? (talk) 01:38, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Size doesn't necessarily indicate speed. A cheetah is larger and heavier than a three-toed sloth but, well, let's just say a race between the two species wouldn't be much of a contest. Tyrannosaurus had much stronger legs than Albertosaurus, so could probably run faster. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:05, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Nein, nein, nein — the point is that the speed claim is based on a completely outdated article by Thulborn. He gave only maximum walking speeds because at the time he considered it safer not to assume warm-bloodedness for dinosaurs and cold-blooded large theropods would not have been able to maintain running speeds. Should we assume the same amount of musculature, relative to body size, to be present in both Tyrannosaurus and Albertosaurus, the latter taxon would be by far the swiftest. Although Tyrannosaurus was more heavily muscled, it seems anatomically impossible for it to be as fast as Albertosaurus. The critical calf musculature was limited by the available room between the shinbone and the pubis. Even if the muscles filled the complete space, growing to a diameter of about three feet, Tyrannosaurus would have been barely able to attain forty kilometres per hour, while a normally muscled 1.5 tonne albertosaurus should have had no trouble running at fifty.--MWAK (talk) 06:52, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Relationship with Humans[edit]

Could Albertosaurus be included as a representative of the country of Canada, in a similar scenario to the North American Beaver, Moose, and Common Loon? Granted, it is certainly not as famous as these three animals. But to Canada-based dino-nuts, such as myself, it is an acceptable emblem. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:17, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

You've listed the animals on the five-cent, 25-cent, and one-dollar Canadian coins. I am unaware of any national (or provincial) emblems with the Albertosaurus. However, the coat of arms for Drumheller has a Tyrannosauridae on it. 117Avenue (talk) 05:01, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Taxobox image that of Gorgosaurus?[edit]

As FunkMonk pointed out above, we have to be very careful about images of Albertosaurus as most of them seem to be in fact of Gorgosaurus. Now, reading Tanke's "A History of Albertosaurus-related Popular Culture Events and Activities in Canada", I get the distinct impression that the famous "Albertosaurus" mount in the Royall Tyrell Museum:

Gorgosaurus cast?

is in fact a cast of Gorgosaurus specimen ROM 1247. There even seems to have been a bit of a scandal about it.--MWAK (talk) 07:06, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Heh, any onlince sources mention this? I'm also unsure about the last image in the article, Flickr page says it was Albertosaurus, but in spite of the foreshortening of the skull, it looks too long. FunkMonk (talk) 13:35, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't think the skull, at least, is ROM 1247. Compare with the cast here: [1] MMartyniuk (talk) 13:50, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but that's no cast. It's a model sculpted by some artist. Some parts are good, other parts are bad — such as the back of the skull, where the anatomy was misunderstood. We have a picture of ROM 1247 here:
ROM 1247
Tanke's paper can be read here: He mentions that the "Lillian" sculpture, which is also pictured on the mural behind the skeleton mount, is based on ROM 1247 and another specimen found at Trochu, TMP 1981.010.0001, but this later exemplar was only prepared in 1984. Tanke & Currie state of it in their 2010 article A history of Albertosaurus discoveries in Alberta, Canada: "It was panel-mounted from the left side in the same pose as the running Albertosaurus logo of the Tyrrell Museum, but it did not go on display and was soon dismantled". Also they give a picture of this specimen in a mounted and restored condition and it seems clearly different from the present mount. Furthermore, its skull was not complete, missing the snout tip. Of course it is possible some cast parts of it were used. But the restored skull looks much like this image of a cast apparently exhibited in France under the name of Albertosaurus:
Restored TMP 1981.010.0001 skull?

It might be the only correct image we have of any recent find, because the last image, that of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences mount, also seems to depict some ROM 1247 copy, sharing the lack of a postorbital process on the posterior eye socket rim, which was caused by damage to the original specimen.--MWAK (talk) 21:51, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

So, basically, it's neither Albertosaurus nor Gorgosaurus, just a generic albertosaurine based on both. If the skull anatomy is incorrect or done by sculptos who thought they were the same thing, it would be a blend of both--or lack diagnostic features of either. MMartyniuk (talk) 14:02, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I took this photo in a Danish geology museum[2], what does it show? The caption says Albertosaurus. Looks like the French skull cast... FunkMonk (talk) 15:27, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
That it is either a mix or simply ROM 1247 seems the most plausible interpretation. As regards the skull photographed by FunkMonk, it does look very similar, doesn't it? The easiest way to keep Gorgosaurus and Albertosaurus skulls apart is the way the nasals are connected to the frontals, but this isn't visible in the pictures we have. The French/Danish casts however, seem to show a dorsal emargination of the fossa antorbitalis below the fenestra maxillaris, a steep ventral margin of the front quadratojugal ramus and a rugose ridge behind the postorbital boss and thus are likely to be Albertosaurus. Also they don't seem to have thirteen maxillary tooth positions, the minimum with Gorgosaurus. Then again, I use the word "seem" a lot: all these traits are rather vague or hard to determine on a picture of a cast.--MWAK (talk) 06:36, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Skull cast in Japan
Interesting, is there a place one can see an image of the actual TMP 1981.010.0001 specimen for comparison? And by the way, what's the status of the following image? FunkMonk (talk) 16:12, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
The article image is here:,r:10,s:0,i:85 Easier to see would be Ville Sinkkonen's posting here:
I've wondered about the Japanese cast too :o). Such casts are all likely to be Gorgosaurus but I have to admit I can't point out any clear traits, except perhaps the form of the postorbital rim. Again the frontal-nasal suture is not adequately visible.--MWAK (talk) 06:51, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Darn, I just noticed the high circular hornlet on the postorbital. This would indicate that the Japanese cast would be of Daspletosaurus! (which nicely explains the lack of a postorbital process) It might be a, somewhat "restored", cast of FMNH PR308. This specimen was long thought to have been Albertosaurus until Carr reassigned it in 1999, so that would explain the wrong museum caption. Picture of FMNH PR308 here:
So, another Albertosaurus image beats the dust.--MWAK (talk) 06:27, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Hahah, darn! I could upload that Danish cast if we can somehow figure out what it is. Then we'll at least have two images apart from the fragmentary holotype. There are also these two images on Commons[3][4], but I guess they're also Gorgosaurus? FunkMonk (talk) 15:11, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
The skull of the first image is probably not a direct cast from a fossil but of some sculpture. The skeleton of the second image is hard to identify because the picture is of insufficient sharpness. It stands in the RTM and that is the place to look for real Albertosaurus specimens. This institution is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year, many of whom take photographs. So with a little help of the general public this issue should be solved in no time (warning: lethal level of optimism). But do add the Danish skull. It is better to have uploaded and lost than never to have uploaded at all.--MWAK (talk) 05:52, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Albertosaurus skull cast at the Geological Museum in Copenhagen
¨Here's a better image of the RTM skeleton[5], and here's the Danish cast (some glare at the snout, but that would be sculpted anyway). Found another angle of the French one[6], and they do look identical. FunkMonk (talk) 11:47, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'll put it in the Dutch article immediately.--MWAK (talk) 13:53, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Do you know what these images show?[7][8] Also just Gorgosaurus? FunkMonk (talk) 00:56, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I just discovered that all the other Canadian dinosaur casts at the Danish museum are made after Royal Tyrrell Museum specimens, so this one probably is too. Does that help identify it further? FunkMonk (talk) 13:04, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
I might be able to help this issue. I've been to the RTM 2 times and have plenty of photos. Those commons images are of Gorgosaurus.Reid,iain james (talk) 21:01, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Feel free to upload if you have better images! FunkMonk (talk) 21:12, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure I do but most are just a different angle of the ones already uploaded. Reid,iain james (talk) 18:38, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Found a photo that shows the entire skeleton in Paris, not great, but better than what we had.FunkMonk (talk) 14:36, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Found another photo and added it under Life history, is it correctly classified, MWAK? And the new infobox image? FunkMonk (talk) 13:51, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
We don't have a really good image for the taxobox, but I did a little swap so the image isn't so long and foreshortened. FunkMonk (talk) 13:40, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

The weight estimates are outdated[edit]

While it seems that Albertosaurus was a relatively lightweight theropod in contrast to Tyrannosaurus, the weight estimates provided by this article are really outdated and implausible, same as the 5,650 kg estimates for the largest T.rex and I will explain why. In a fairly recent model that applied flesh to the mounted skeleton of the specimen MOR 693 (Big. Al) of Allosaurus, scientists came to a conclusion: the weight of that specimen was about 1,500 kg and they presented a range from 1,370 to 2,000 kg. The approximated size of the mentioned specimen (MOR 693) is between 7.3-7.5 m.

If such a small not full grown specimen like Big Al can weight 1,500 kg, how can an Albertosaurus measuring 8.6-10 m weight 1,300 to 1,700 kg? is just physics.--Dinoexpert (talk) 23:11, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Do we need a new reconstruction of Albertosaurus?[edit]

I noticed that the only reconstruction of this genus in the article is shrink-wrapped and may have an inaccurate skull, so I'm contemplating making a new illustration that might represent the genus more accurately. Would this be considered a good idea? Dromaeosaurus is best dinosaur (talk) 12:58, 21 October 2014 (UTC)-

I'm not sure where it is supposed to be "shrink-wrapped" (maybe the fenestrae are too visible), but it most likely needs feathers. FunkMonk (talk) 13:27, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
It's extremely noticeable around the pelvic region, really; the pubic boot is a bit too visible for my tastes...and actually, the entire hip area is way too shallow and thus makes the entire animal's COG look off; theropod COG was around the hip, not around the chest, IIRC. The arms and fingers are also stumpy, not quite as long as the skeletal images, and the neck-body transition is a bit too abrupt...and, on closer inspection, it actually lacks earholes. I'm pretty sure the cranial protrusions are inaccurate, too; they look a bit too tall and almost allosaur-esque; even in life, I'm not sure it'd be like that. The skinny neck also makes it look like it can't even eat properly. The potrusion on the back of the upper jaw (the one that muscles attach to in life, specifically) seems absent, too. Overall, it seems like the head and neck were made based on the Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis design, not the fossil specimens. And yeah, it also needs feathers, too. But really, it's got so many issues that it'd be better just to outright replace it, IMO. :/ Dromaeosaurus is best dinosaur (talk) 17:48, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The animal looks like it is in some kind of movement, centre of gravity in standing pose would not be the same as in a moving pose, where an animal is leaning forwards. In any case, yes, we probably need another image. FunkMonk (talk) 17:56, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

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