The name Carnotaurus comes from Latin and means “Carnivorous Bull” and this name is one of the most suitable among dinosaurs because it describes not only how it looks but also how it survives. It is a single species of theropod dinosaurs and lived at the end of the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago in South America. It was a theropod, these are characterized by walking on two legs and being carnivores, is considered to be medium in size, compared to other tripods because it measured 9 meters long and 3.5 meters high, its weight was about 1,500 kg.
One thing to note is that usually the predators of that time had a very large head, the Carnotaurus on the contrary had a small head of 60 cm. The head had a hole on each side of it, which made his head less heavy, and he also had small teeth. However, the most representative thing is that he had horns, they were thick and were just above his eyes, it is believed that this compensated that he had very small and not very functional front legs with four fingers and not very powerful claws. Its tail was thin and long, its function was to give it balance.
One thing to note is that even though their eyes were small, well protected and looking straight ahead, which is unusual for dinosaurs, because they usually looked sideways, the fact that they looked straight ahead gave them binocular vision, so they could see much better in the distance. Because his muzzle was large compared to others, it has been theorized that he had a very keen sense of smell. Despite what many believe, Carnotaurus had no feathers, which makes it different from other theropods.
The Carnotaurus was discovered in 1985 in Patagonia, Argentina. These remains were very important, because thanks to them scientists were able to get an idea of what the skin of dinosaurs looked like.
In this finding, an almost complete skeleton was found with only one piece of its tail and part of its legs missing. This was found in the province of Chubut and is believed to be 75 million years old. This dinosaur revolutionized much of the way we conceive the shape and physiology of large predators.
Being a relatively new dinosaur, it has not yet deepened its habits, and experts are not sure, they know it was carnivorous, but are not sure of the size and type of its prey. Some believe that because of its size and especially its horns, it could hunt large prey, even bigger than itself, although others suggest that because it is a medium-sized dinosaur, it hunted smaller animals.
What scientists are most sure of, because of the type of legs it had, is that Carnotaurus ran very well and is believed to have been one of the fastest theropods. They also thought that he used his powerful horns to beat and kill his victim, that although the horns were not very large, they definitely served to go against large prey.
The Carnotaurus is special because of the horns it had, in fact until now it is the only carnivore discovered that had this characteristic. Paleontologists, who study dinosaurs, have said that their hunting strategy was to hit possible prey with their horns to make them lose their balance. The horns were not very long but rather small and pointed.
Other theories suggest that they used them more as a complement to combat with others of the same species, this could be by territory or to be the leaders of the herd or to win a female. Although the latest studies suggest that his horns were not strong enough to survive an attack with the horns, and that his greatest strength was his ability to run, he could reach speeds of about 50 kilometers per hour.
Although not the most popular of dinosaurs, he had important appearances in Michael Crichton’s novel The Lost World, in which he is credited with unproven characteristics such as the ability to change the color of his skin to camouflage with his surroundings. He also appears in Dinosaur Valley Girls and Walt Disney’s Dinosaur Animated Movie, being the bad guy in that movie. You can also find it in Animal Kingdom.