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Giganotosaurus
Feathered Giganotosaurus
Physical description
Binomial nameGiganotosaurus carolinii
HabitatTropical savannah
Average Size12.4-13.2 metres (40-46 feet)
Average weight6-8 tonnes
DietOrnithopods and sauropods
Conservational Status
StatusExtinct
Scientific classification
PhylumChordata
ClassReptilia
OrderDinosauria
FamilyCarcharodontosauridae subfamily=carcharodontosaurinae
GenusGiganotosaurus
SpeciesG. carolinii
Distribution
Distribution of speciesArgentina

Giganotosaurus was a genus of large predatory theropods. The type and only species is G. carolinii, native to southern Argentina. Giganotosaurus briefly held the title of the largest known theropod; however recent discoveries reveal that some Theropods, such as Tyrannosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus and Spinosaurus were around the same size. 

Discovery and Fossil Record Edit

The holotype of Giganotosaurus (MUPCv-ch1) was discovered back in 1993, by an amateur paleontologist called Ruben Carolinii. It was complete by 70 %, and it included parts of of the skull, pelvis, hindimbs, a lower jaw and most of the backbone. Another specimen (MUPCv-95) was also found. It consists in a fragment of a lower jaw. Originally said to be 8 % larger than the corresponding part in the holotype holotype, Hartman recently proposed a 6.5 % larger figure. Some teeth were also found during 1980s.

Description Edit

Giganotosaurus appears to have been one of the largest Theropod. The first specimen was estimated to reach 12.4 m (41 feet) long, even though most of the tail of this specimen is missing, so the size stimates are various. The wieght of this specimen is estimated to be somewhere between 6.1 and 6.8 t. The larger specimen is estimated at 13.2 m long. The weight of this specimen has never been officially estimated estimated, but Hartman proposed a weight of 8.2 t, after its GDI analysis.

Its skull was among the biggest between Theropods. Originally estimated at 1.53 m long, the original authors claimed in 1998 that the skull lenght of the MUPCv-ch1 and MUPCv-95 were respectively 1.8 m and 1.95 m. This appears to be an error - as this claiming was not repeated by the following workers - and in 2002 an article gave a 1.6 m figure for MUPCv-ch1's skull. Carrano believes that even the original estimate was too big, and that its skull was comparable to that of Tyrannosaurus. The endocast of the Giganotosaurus holotype was also studied. It had a volume of 275 cc, and it was longer than that of the related Theropod Carcharodontosaurus saharicus by 19 %.

Behaviour Edit

Not much of the behaviour of this animal is know, as it's fragmentary. It appears to have been a Sauropod-hunter, as two Sauropods, Andesaurus and Limaysaurus likely co-existed with Giganotosaurus. In 2001 Blanco & Mazzetta estimated that the max speed on this animal would have been 50.4 km/h, but that, after reaching that speed, he would have lost minimal stability. Like other Allosauroids, its bite appears to have been weaker than those of Tyrannosaurids, as in 2005 Francois Therrier estimated that Giganotosaurus bite force was 3 times weaker than that of Tyrannosaurus, while its bite were optimised to inflict slicing-wound.

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