DID YOU KNOW…
Gorgosaurus lived during the Late Cretaceous Period, between 77 and 75.5 million years ago. It is thought to have lived at the same time as the more robust Daspletosaurus—one of the few known instances of co-existing tyrannosaurids!
The name Gorgosaurus was inspired by Greek mythology—specifically the Gorgons, the sisters with venomous snakes for hair, who could turn anyone to stone if they looked at them.
Only one species Gorgosaurus species is known: G. libratus, whose name is the past participle of the Latin verb librare, “to balance.”
It likely preyed upon hadrosaurs, ceratopsids, even Ornithomimus—the ostrich-mimic dinosaur depicted on the first coin in our Ancient Canada series!
Recovered from Dinosaur Provincial Park in 1991, the skeleton depicted on the reverse is remarkably complete: more than 95% of its bones were still in place!
The remains of many dinosaurs, and even birds, have been found in a similar position as the Gorgosaurus on your coin; known as a “death pose”, the skeleton is positioned in a way where the jaw is open and the head and tail are curved back above the spine. Long a subject of scientific debate, the cause for this Gorgosaurus’s death pose is now believed to be the result of decomposition under water.