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GIGANOTOSAURUS

a meat-eating carcharodontosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Argentina.
giganotosaurus.png
Pronunciation: JIG-an-OH-toe-SOR-us
Meaning: Giant southern lizard
Author/s: Coria and Salgado (1995)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Neuquén, Argentina
Chart Position: 326

Giganotosaurus carolinii

Giganotosaurus carolinii is possibly the most frequently mis-spelled dinosaur name of all time. People mostly omit the first "o" (as well as the last "i") but, in their defence, Giganotosaurus really was a giganto-saurus, just not the Gigantosaurus—a troublesome English sauropod which is based on terribly fragmentary remains.

Discovered by car mechanic and keen amateur fossil hunter Ruben Carolini in the windy badlands of Patagonia, Giganotosaurus gave Tyrannosaurus rex the finger with its extra weight and length... and third finger. It also had a bigger skull, possibly the biggest ever at an estimated 1.95 meters in length according to some rather generous sources, but that's where the bragging rights end. Compared to T.rex its skull was less deep and and somewhat slender, its teeth were shorter and thinner and more suited to slicing than crushing, its brain was only half the size, and François Therrien estimated that its bite force was a miserable 66% less using a method we're not going to pretend to understand. But it's not all bad news.

Update coming soon...
(Giant Southern Lizard) Etymology
Giganotosaurus is derived from the Greek "gigas" (giant), "notos" (south) and "sauros" (lizard). The species epithet, carolinii (CARE-oh-LEAN-ee-eye) honors Ruben Carolini, discoverer of its first fossils.
Discovery
The remains of Giganotosaurus were discovered in the Candeleros Formation (formerly the Rio Limay Formation) - the oldest formation of the Neuquén Group, 15 km south of Villa El Chocón, Neuquén, Argentina. The holotype -- MUCPv-Ch1, housed at the Carmen Funes Museum in Neuquén -- is a 70% complete skeleton including the skull (180cm long), pelvis, leg bones and most of the backbone.
Habitat
The Candeleros Formation is almost 300 meters thick in some sections. Overall, the formation represents an ancient braided river system, made up mostly of sandstones and conglomerates. There are also isolated sections that represent eolian (wind-blown) deposition, as well as siltstones deposited under swamp conditions. Paleosols (soil deposits) are common in some sections as well.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Cenomanian
Age range: 99-97 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 13.2 meters
Est. max. hip height: 4 meters
Est. max. weight: 7 tons
Diet: Carnivore
References
• R.A. Coria and L. Salgado (1995) "A new giant carnivorous dinosaur from the Cretaceous of Patagonia".
• R.A. Coria and P.J. Currie (2006) "A new carcharodontosaurid (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of Argentina".
• J.O. Calvo and R.A. Coria (1998) "New specimen of Giganotosaurus carolinii (Coria & Salgado, 1995), supports it as the largest theropod ever found".
• Fernando E. Novas (2009) "The Age of Dinosaurs in South America".
• David Lambert, Darren Naish and Elizabeth Wyse (2003) "Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life".
• R. Ernesto Blanco and Gerardo V. Mazzetta (2001) "A new approach to evaluate the cursorial ability of the giant theropod Giganotosaurus carolinii".
• François Therrien, Donald M. Henderson and Christopher B. Ruff (2005) "Bite Me: Biomechanical models of theropod mandibles and implications for feeding" in Kenneth Carpenter's "The Carnivorous Dinosaurs".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "GIGANOTOSAURUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 26th Mar 2017.
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