Daspletosaurus vs. Giganotosaurus
Time Period & Environment: Jiufotang Formation, China. 120 million years ago
Written By: Kaitlin Lindblad
A low thick fog hangs over a volcano side lake front, 120 million years ago in what is now northeastern China. A Daspletosaurus, a strange dinosaur to this time and place lies stretched out on the narrow beach, relaxing in the warm damp mud. The air is alive with chattering, chirps, and trills. Enantiornithine birds and pterosaurs of all shapes and sizes zip in and out of view. Some buzz just inches overhead, while other strut dangerously close, picking off annoying insects swarming the sleeping theropod.
The ground briefly trembles. The flying animals scatter and the tyrannosaur wakes from its nap. Daspletosaurus is acutely tuned to the low frequency sounds, and according to him, the only other thing it that could have possibly made that rumble was another equally large dinosaur. He swivels its head around, scanning for the source of the sound. To the right, the silhouette of a theropod drinking from the lake loams out of the fog. Daspletosaurus rolls around and stands up. He has no tolerance for other giant carnivores in his presence and responds with a long deep territorial growl.
No reply. He growls and hisses again, with more ferocity. Again, he is ignored. He takes a few steps forward in a mock charge. The shape finally looks towards him, and growls back. This dinosaur does not sound like a tyrannosaur, or even the rumble that woke him up. It is much louder than the tyrannosaur was expecting, and much, much closer.
What Daspletosaurus actually initially felt was a small volcanic tremor. Now, he has accidently annoyed what quickly reveals itself as a Giganotosaurus, of such stature it easily looks down on him. The giant South American theropod does not wave off its surprisingly fast power walk, wasting no time venting its temper on the tyrannosaur.
Daspletosaurus does not move out of the way fast enough, allowing Giganotosaurus to catch the base of his shoulders with its upper toothrow. Giganotosaurus does not have the bone crushing bite of its challenger, but the swipe of it sharp slicing teeth are nevertheless devastating. Daspletosaurus yelps, swinging its jaws and crunching one of the carcharodontosaurs small arms, buying any time it can to escape. Giganotosaurus lunges for another bite, but Daspletosaurus has taken the opportunity to run into the forest while it is still physically able. It is not known if the tyrannosaur will survive the encounter, but he has learned a very valuable lesson.