Alioramus (/ˌæli.ɵˈreɪməs/; meaning 'different branch') is a genus of tyrannosaurid theropod dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous period of Asia. The type species, A. remotus, is known from a partial skull and three foot bones recovered from Mongolian sediments which were deposited in a humid floodplain about 70 million years ago. These remains were named and described by Soviet paleontologist Sergei Kurzanov in 1976. A second species, A. altai, known from a much more complete skeleton, was named and described by Stephen L. Brusatte and colleagues in 2009. Its relationships to other tyrannosaurid genera are unclear, with some evidence supporting a hypothesis that Alioramus is closely related to the contemporary species Tarbosaurus bataar.
Alioramus were bipedal like all known theropods, and their sharp teeth indicate that they were carnivores. Known specimens were smaller than other tyrannosaurids like Tarbosaurus bataar and Tyrannosaurus rex, but their adult size is difficult to estimate since both species are known only from juvenile or sub-adult remains. The recent discovery of Qianzhousaurus indicates that it belongs to a distinct branch of tyrannosaur. The genus Alioramus is characterized by a row of five bony crests along the top of the snout, a greater number of teeth than any other genus of tyrannosaurid, and a lower skull than other tyrannosaurids.
In popular culture
In the enhanced-motion vehicle attraction Dinosaur at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park, an Alioramus is announced by an on-board computer, and is seen digging in the ground. As the vehicle nears the rooting dinosaur, it raises up to reveal a smaller animal in its mouth, which it proceeds to swallow as the prey kicks it hind legs and lashes with its tail, to no avail. Both creatures are brought to life through Audio-Animatronics.