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July 03, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

THE COMPLETE T. REX by John R. Horner & Don Lessem (Touchstone: $15; 238 pp., illustrated). Even before "Jurassic Park," the Tyrannosaurus rex ranked as the most popular dinosaur: Huge, deadly and safely extinct, it holds an eerie fascination for humans of all ages. Horner and Lessem recount their excavation of the most complete Tyrannosaurus skeleton known (only 11 have been found, most of them fragmentary) and summarize the ongoing debates over the animal. Was T. Rex a scavenger or an active predator? How did it use its tiny forelimbs? Was it hot-blooded or cold-blooded? Rather than offer pat answers, the authors steer a prudent middle course between the outdated image of a sluggish reptile and paleontologist Bob Bakker's hotly debated vision of a super-agile Rex .

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