Carcharodontosaurus is a genus of massive allosaurid theropod.
It was one of the largest terrestrial predators ever. Like its close relative, Giganotosaurus, it was slightly larger than Tyrannosaurus and was as big as Giganotosaurus. So far, two species are known, the more common of the two from the Sahara desert. Carcharodontosaurus lived alongside many other theropods exceding 12 metres, but it exceded most of them in size. The size estimates for this animal ranging from 12 to 13 meters in lenght and 6-8 t in weight.
Carcharodontosaurus was an carnosaur, closely related to Allosaurus, Mapusaurus, and Giganotosaurus. However,Spinosaurus exceeded Carcharodontosaurus in length by at least 1m longer and was at least 1 ton heavier.
Carcharodontosaurus was discovered in the Sahara desert in 1927. Its original name was Megalosaurus saharicus, but its name was changed in 1931 by Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach to that used today (Carcharodontosaurus saharicus). C. saharicus was recognized as one of the biggest theropods ever, but larger than Tyrannosaurus. Other specimens have been found in Argentina, including a bone bed of seven individuals.
Carcharodontosaurus is so far known only from a few bones, most notably the skull. Its jaws were scissor-like and had many blade-shaped teeth. The olfactory reigion was quite large, most likely meaning that Carcharodontosaurus had a good sense of smell. Like most allosaurs, the brain cavity was large, but smaller than those of tyrannosaurs. Still, it seems Carcharodontosaurus was intelligent enough to plan hunting strategies.
Reconstruction of the rest of the body is based on the close relative, Giganotosaurus.
Carcharodontosaurus was an allosaur, in the same group as Allosaurus and Giganotosaurus. Within the allosaur group, it is the type genus of the family Carchardontosauridae. Carcharodontosuridae contains many large Theropods. Acrocanthosaurus, Giganotosaurus, Mapusaurus, Tyrannotitan and Carcharodontosaurus itself all exceed 11m in length.
Popular culture Edit
Carcharodontosaurus has recently become fairly common in popular culture. Carcharodontosaurus was featured in an episode of the television series Dinosaur Planet, titled "Alpha's Egg". Carcharodontosaurus was also available in Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis as a four-star large carnivore. Carcharodontosaurus also appears in two episodes of BBC's 2011 series Planet Dinosaur, where it is shown as one of the top predators of Cretaceous Africa, and The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt. On YouTube, a feature-length film, A Dinosaur Story, a character who ofcourse is named after his species, appears as the largest, longest, and heavist character of the entire crew.