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Giganotosaurus

Updated on February 2, 2012

Discovery

First discovered in Argentina, South America in 1993, by an amateur dinosaur enthusiast named Ruben Carolini. What Mr. Carolini discovered would dethrone the most popular dinosaur king of all time, Tyrannosaurus Rex. The monster's skull was over six feet long, and full of massive steak-knife teeth 4-7 inches long. It would be named Giganotosaurus carolinii meaning Carolini's Giant Southern Lizard. Giganotosaurus lived around 90 to 100 million years ago during the early Cenomanian stage of the Late Cretaceous Period. Various estimates would place Giganotosaurus at somewhere between 43 and 48 ft in length from nose to tail tip, and between 7 and 14 tons in weight. The skull of Giganotosaurus, although large, had a more thin and delicate structure. It had rough, wrinkled surfaces along on the edge of the top of it's snout and above the eye openings.

Food and Hunting

It is believed that Giganotosaurus preyed upon the largest animal that ever walked the earth, Argentinosaurus . These sauropods weighed in at 100-150 tons and were over 90 feet long. Since Giganotosaurus was after such big game most paleontologists believe that they hunted in packs in order to bring down their whale-sized prey. It would have also preyed on any other dinosaurs in it's environment as well. This includes Amargasaurus a finned sauropod, and Saltosaurus a sauropod with an armored back. It is hypothesized that Giganotosaurus would bite it's victims with rotting flesh in it's teeth and then wait for infection to weaken it's quarry, similar to a Komodo Dragon. If Giganotosaurus hunted in packs there would have been multiple bites like this all teeming with infection. Once the infection sets in, and it's prey was too weak to defend itself, the Gigianotosaurus' would move in and eat it's victim alive. Gigantotosaurus would have also had competition from two other predators, its close relatives Tyrannotitan and Mapusaurus. It is also important to note that even though Giganotosaurus was bigger than T-Rex it was more of a lightweight with a more lightly built skull. Where T-Rex's bite force would have been around 2-3 thousand pounds per square inch, Giganotosaurus would have mustered up about 1100-1500 PSI. Giganotosaurus' teeth were also designed differently from the Tyrannosaurs. They were more blade-like whereas Tyrannosaur teeth were thick and rounded like railroad spikes. This means that Giganotosaurs and their relatives could not crush bones with their bite.

As it appears in Chased By Dinosaurs

A clip from BBC Chased by Dinosaurs

In pop culture

Since it's discovery Giganotosaurus has gained some popularity among mainstream culture. The dinosaur has appeared in a number of documentaries including, BBC's special Chased By Dinosaurs. In this film they are depicted hunting Argentinosaurus in packs. Giganotosaurus is also shown in the IMAX movie Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia where Dr. Rodolfo Coria takes viewers to the locations of premier discoveries in Argentina. A Giganotosaurus also makes an appearance in season 3 episode 4 of the ITV Sci-Fi drama Primeval where it savages an airport. It also appeared the video game in Dino Crisis 2 for Sony's Playstation in an over sized form and is seen tossing an adult Tyrannosaurus Rex a considerable distance. A Giganotosaurus appears in the childrens movie, The Land Before Time IV: The Mysterious Island.

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    • parkerhoffman profile image

      Parker Hoffman 

      5 years ago from Oviedo Florida

      That is true in a regard, there only has been one specimen of Tyrannosaurus found so far that was much longer than giga, and T was heavier, so it would make sense if giga was longer

    • ChrisIndellicati profile imageAUTHOR

      ChrisIndellicati 

      5 years ago from New York, NY

      On average Giga was longer than t-rex but T-rex probably had moere strength and weighed more than giga but really the size difference between the is negligible.

    • parkerhoffman profile image

      Parker Hoffman 

      5 years ago from Oviedo Florida

      Chris, while your hub was informative and interesting, I think you should consider that there are some flaws. To begin with, recent evidence has shown that Tyrannosaurus was in fact much larger than Giganotosaurus. And despite everything, Giganatosaurus is nowhere close to as well known nor as popular as Tyrannosaurus and is actually losing ground in this regard.

      https://hubpages.com/education/Largest-Animals-Thr...

    • profile image

      John 

      6 years ago

      It is very cool

    • ChrisIndellicati profile imageAUTHOR

      ChrisIndellicati 

      6 years ago from New York, NY

      Yeah it does totally sam that way sometimes

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 

      6 years ago

      Sometimes I wonder if they named dinosaurs randomly... like they cut up a dictionary and threw the words in the air caught one and just added "Saurus" at the end.

    • ChrisIndellicati profile imageAUTHOR

      ChrisIndellicati 

      6 years ago from New York, NY

      Thanks for the feedback Dinosaurs can always capture the imagination, the types of fairytale type, reptilian monsters we all dream about. They invoke a basic fear in us, and there are still other animals out there that remind us about our natural enemies, like the crocodiles, and the poisonous snakes or huge constrictor snakes like the Anaconda or even these gigantic Pythons out in the Borneo jungles. The reptiles are psychologically registered in our brains to find repulsive or threatening, and frankly they are alien to us. I always found them to be really fascinating and I think that dinosaurs in particularly interesting because well it just lets you be more creative. No one knows what they looked like.

    • YogaKat profile image

      YogaKat 

      6 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

      I was intrigued to hear about the discovery of this new predatory dinosaur. Thanks!

    • Jlbowden profile image

      James Bowden 

      6 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Hello Chris:

      I really enjoyed your well-written account about this dinosaur. I found it not only very interesting but voted up as well. Theres nothing like a good dinosaur account, to bring us back into that era. And most importantly thank god, that animals like giganosaurus don't exist today. Because if they did, there certainly would be a lot of frightened individuals. Thanks again for sharing a great read with us here on hubpages.

      JL

    • asmaiftikhar profile image

      asmaiftikhar 

      6 years ago from Pakistan

      A very very informative and useful hub thanks for sharing this.Asma

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