Its name comes from the Greek and it is easy to guess what a giant reptile means by its large size. Only one species is known of it: the Giganotosaurus Carolini. It is believed to have lived in the Cretaceous period approximately 90 million years ago, and has been found mostly in South America. He was a predator who walked on two legs and had a big head. Like most dinosaurs associated with him, he had short hands, yet the Giganotosaurus had sharp, curved claws. He also had a long, heavy tail that served to maintain his balance. The Giganotosaurus was not particularly fast, so it is believed to have ambushed its prey. Along with all the above characteristics it had the largest head known and that this one measured up to an impressive 2 meters long. There are some theories that say he may have lived in Africa as well.
It was discovered in 1993, not long ago, by Rubén Carolini, who was not an expert paleontologist but a lucky mechanic, found the bones of this dinosaur almost by accident. His bones were buried shallowly in the desert almost out in the open, so it didn’t take much digging to find them. It was found in South America, to be more exact in Patagonia in an area that belongs to the Caneleros Formation and is believed to have been formed approximately 95 million years ago during the Upper Cretaceous. A very complete specimen was found, almost 70% of his bones were found, including a large skull and much of his spine. Because of these findings it is believed that the Gigantosaurus was almost 13 meters long and it is believed that it could weigh up to 10 tons, although there are some scientists who are more conservative. The best thing about this specimen is that it was found in very good condition and for this reason it has been possible to study in detail and to deepen its customs and anatomy. It is the largest known carnivorous dinosaur, in fact when it was discovered it displaced the Tyranosaurus Rex.
The Giganotosaurus was definitely a predator although there are theories that say that it could have fed on carrion was certainly carnivorous. Their legs were very powerful, much more powerful than those of any other known predatory dinosaur, this feature makes them particularly fast, they could run at about 50 km. per hour and this is why it is believed that they could be very effective hunters. Its hunting capacity increased considerably because its neck was thick and muscular so it is believed that it had the strength to tear any other dinosaur, as a curious fact an adult could fit lying in the mouth of the Giganotosaurus. In addition to all these characteristics, they had very effective claws, although their arms were small they had three fingers whose claws were extremely sharp, with which they could hold their prey very easily. In addition to this they had very sharp saw-shaped teeth, especially effective at tearing, especially considering that these were replaced by new, sharp teeth when they were worn. One of the most interesting theories about their feeding behavior is that they probably hunted in groups, this is very rare especially in large predators like them.
The Giganotosaurus, was special because of its large size, only the spinosaurus is larger than it, however it was very large compared to others, could be up to 13 meters long and a well-trained adult could weigh almost 14 tons a little more than some fully loaded heavy duty trucks, although new findings suggest that it may even be a little larger. His head could measure approximately 2 meters.
Giganotosaurus could be even bigger than Tyrannosaurus, but despite having a bigger head they had a smaller brain and a more developed sense of smell, so they could be very good hunters.
Where else can you find him?
Since its discovery and because of its large size are very portrayed dinosaurs, most often present it as the main enemy of the Tyrannosaurus although it is unlikely to have fought. You can find it in documentaries such as Gigantes de la Patagonia or Chased by Dinosaurs. You can also find it in books like Dinotopia or in video games like Dino Crisis. It is also important to mention that most of the bones of Giganotosaurus are in museums in Argentina, in the rest of the world there are only reconstructions.