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Carcharodontosaurus was a huge meat eater from the Cretaceous period. This North African carnosaur had a massive tail, a bulky body, and heavy bones. Its arms were short and had three-fingered hands with sharp claws.
Carcharodontosaurus was from 26-44 feet long (8-14 m), perhaps weighing up to 8 tons. It had a a skull that was as big as a person - 5'4" (1.6 m). It had large, powerful jaws with long, serrated, sharp teeth up to 8 inches long. Although Carcharodontosaurus was larger than T. rex, its brain was smaller. Carcharodontosaurus was closely related to Giganotosaurus but not to T. rex. Carcharodontosaurus was a more primitive dinosaur than T. rex.
WHEN CARCHARODONTOSAURUS LIVED
Carcharodontosaurus lived in the Cretaceous period, about 110 to 90 million years ago.
Carcharodontosaurus may have hunted in groups like other Allosaurids but there is no fossil evidence of this.
Carcharodontosaurus was a carnosaur, whose intelligence (as measured by its relative brain to body weight, or EQ) was high among the dinosaurs.
Carcharodontosaurus was a carnivore, a meat eater. It was a large, fierce predator that could kill even large sauropods. Carcharodontosaurus may also have been a scavenger.
Carcharodontosaurus walked on two muscular legs and was a relatively fast runner. Dinosaur speeds are estimated using their morphology (characteristics like leg length and estimated body mass) and fossilized trackways.
DISCOVERY OF FOSSILS
Carcharodontosaurus was first known from an incomplete North African skull and a few bones found by Depret and Savornin in 1927 (originally called Megalosaurus saharicus). Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach named it in 1931. These fossils were destroyed during World War II (in 1944). In 1996, Paul Sereno and his team found another Carcharodontosaurus in North Africa, even larger than the older specimen.
Carcharodontosaurus was a late Jurassic Saurischian ("lizard-hipped") dinosaur. It was a theropod, a carnosaur, an allosaurid (huge carnivores with bony head ridges that may have hunted in packs; they included Yangchuanosaurus and others), and a member of the Carcharodontosauridae (which included Carcharodontosaurus, Bahariasaurus, and Giganotosaurus).
- Kingdom Animalia (animals)
- Phylum Chordata (having a hollow nerve chord ending in a brain)
- Class Archosauria (diapsids with socket-set teeth, etc.)
- Order Saurischia - lizard-hipped dinosaurs
- Suborder Theropoda - bipedal carnivores
- Tetanura - advanced theropods with three fingers
- Superfamily Carnosauria - allosaurids and their relatives
- Family Allosauridae
- Genus Carcharodontosaurus
- Species C. saharicus (type species: Stromer, 1931)
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