|Name Translation||Giant Southern Lizard|
|Period||100-97 MYA, Mid Cretaceous|
|Length||41-46 feet (12.5-14 meters) long, 17-18.5 ft (5.2-5.7 meters) tall, 6-8 tons in weigth|
Giganotosaurus carolinii was named for Ruben Carolini, an amateur fossil hunter, who discovered the fossils in the deposits of the Rio Limay Formation of Patagonia, southern Argentina, in 1993. It was published by Rodolfo Coria and Leonardo Salgado in the journal Nature in 1995.
The holotype specimen's (MUCPv-Ch1) skeleton was about 70% complete and included theskull, pelvis, leg bones and most of the backbone. It is estimated around 12.2-12.5 m (40.2-40.5 ft) in length. A second specimen (MUCPv-95), estimated at 8% larger, has also been recovered. This larger Giganotosaurus specimen is estimated to represent an individual 13.2 m (about 43.2 ft) long that weighed 8 tons. Giganotosaurus might have had the longest known skull for a theropod dinosaur, with the holotype's skull estimated at 2 m (6.6 feet). Giganotosaurus may have surpassed the average Tyrannosaurus rex in length, but Tyrannosaurus outweighed Giganotosaurus because of the extra muscle-mass.
Paleobiology EditGiganotosaurus lived in Argentina alongside with Argentinosaurus and several other giant sauropods. Its close relatives from the same continent Tyrannotitan and Mapusaurus, and was also closely related to Carcharodontosaurus in Africa. It was the descendant of Allosaurus from the Jurassic period. It was the biggest known member of the carnosaur genus, and one of the biggest known theropods of all time. It had a massive skull, a long tail for extra balance to help support its massive head, fairly long and strong arms with three clawed fingers, and powerful back legs with three sharp talons on their toes. Most people speculate, considering the length and musculature of its legs, that Giganotosaurus could run anywhere between 15-20mph, as fast as Olympic sprinters! It had over 60 8-inch (19 cm.), blade-like teeth that could easily pierce and rip through its unfortunate victims' flesh.
In the MediaEditThe original fossils of Giganotosaurus remain at the Carmen Funes Museum in Neuquen, Argentina, but replicas are common in other places, including the Australian Museum in Sydney. Despite having been discovered relatively recently, Giganotosaurus is already gaining a name for itself in popular culture.
Giganotosaurus appears in the [by Dinosaurs special Land of Giants|Chased by Dinosaurs special Land of Giants]. They are seen to hunt both independently and in packs, working together to bring down an Argentinosaurus. Giganotosaurus is also featured in the IMAX movie Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia where Dr. Rodolfo Coria shows the sites of major discoveries in Argentina.
A Giganotosaurus also made an appearance in an episode of the ITV drama Primeval where it rampages at an airport.
It also appeared in Dino Crisis 2 at an exaggerated size and inaccurately shown to throw an adult Tyrannosaurus.Giganotosaurus makes an appearance in Turok, where it only appears in the Death Valley, although its actual species was not identified in the game. Although it is similar to Mama Scarface (a Tyrannosaurus in the game) in regards to behavior and sounds, it has noticable differences, such as it does not have any scars on its face and has three fingered arms like its real counterpart. The Giganotosaurus in the game is shorter and leaner than Mama Scarface, but it possibly longer in terms of length.
Giganotosaurus appears in Prehistoric Monsters Revealed.
One of the forms of the Predacon named Magmatron is a purple Giganotosaurus.
Giganotosaurus appears in the fifth movie of The Land Before Time.
Giganotosaurus appeared in the 2008 movie Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Prehistoric monsters Revealed
Walking with Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia
Beyond T. rex
T. rex: Clash of the Titans
Ultimate Book of Dinosaurs; by Paul Dowswell, John Malam, Paul Mason, Steve Parker
Dino Wars; by Jinny Johnson, consulted by Michael J. Benton