|Name Meaning:||Giant Lizard of the South|
|Time Period:||Late Cretaceous, 97 Ma|
|Length:||45 ft (14 m)|
The Giganotosaurus was discovered in 1993 in El Chocon, Argentina. The find was well-preserved with about 70 percent of the skeleton intact. The specimen included the skull, leg bones, pelvis, and most of its spine. Two years later it was announced to the world by Rodolfo Coria and Leonardo Salgado to sensational publicity, due to the fact that it was the first dinosaur discovered that was larger than the Tyrannosaurus
, previously thought to the largest land carnivore ever. In 2000 a second larger specimen was discovered. Since then it has become very popular in modern culture with appearances in video games and television.
The Giganotosaurus was easily identified as being closely related to the Allosaurids. It was bigger than the Tyrannosaurus, although its brain was nearly half the size of most Tyrannosaurids. Its skull was nearly 2 meters long and slender. Like the Tyrannosaurus it had small arms that served little purpose. It had ridges around its eyes that made it difficult to see in a forward direction. However, It had a well developed olfactory system with large nostrils, allowing it to seek out its prey by smell. It was discovered close to a Titanosaur possibly suggesting that the large herbivore was among the dinosaurs the Giganotosaurus preyed upon. Many fossils found in one site suggest that the Giganotosaurus may have hunted in packs.
ScienceViews Writer: Jason Hamilton.
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