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ROAR-Some facts about Giganotosaurus

Monday 25th July 2022 Written by: Marketing Team
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Giganotosaurus

99 million years ago the mighty Giganotosaurus roamed the earth. This year, the Giganotosaurus reappeared as a fantastical depiction of this impressive historical beast in Jurassic World Dominion. But what was Giganotosaurus really like? Read on to learn more…

At Paultons Park, we have a dedicated dinosaur themed park area called the Lost Kingdom where we celebrate all things Jurassic. There are an abundance of dinosaur themed rides, attractions and animatronics to behold here. Visit the Lost Kingdom to ride the mighty Velociraptor or swoop through the skies on Flight of the Pterosaur. Whether you are seeking thrills or chills, you’ll make unforgettable memories here with your friends and family that will last a lifetime.

In this article, we’ve collected some interesting information about a lesser known but legendary dinosaur, Giganotosaurus. Now that Giganotosaurus has been featured in the Jurassic World franchise, we know you’ll be looking to know more about this fantastic beast. Well… you’ve come to the right place! Let’s dive in.

Giganotosaurus was the largest meat-eating dinosaur of South America

The awesome Giganotosaurus roamed and roared the earth around 99 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period. It is the largest carnivorous predator to have ever lived in South America, known today as Argentina.

Giganotosaurus was bigger than T-Rex

Scientists used to believe that the T-Rex was the biggest carnivorous dinosaur, but Giganotosaurus was actually bigger! It measured up to 13m in length and weighed in at a whopping 10 tons, giving it the edge over T-Rex.

It wasn’t the biggest carnivorous dinosaur to have ever lived on earth though, that title goes to the amazing Spinosaurus, which outweighed both of them at up to 23 tons!

It is not named for being gigantic!

Despite the similarities between “gigantic” and the similarly sounding “Giganotosaurus”, the connection between these words is purely coincidental. Giganotosaurus (pronounced gee-ga-note-oh-saw-rus) is actually named after the fact it was discovered in South America.

Giganotosaurus is Greek for Giant Southern Lizard. The Giganoto is often mistaken for the Greek prefix that does mean “gigantic”, which would be “Giganto”. An easy mistake to make, but some dinosaurs actually are named for being gigantic, like the Gigantoraptor.

Giganotosaurus should not be confused with Gigantosaurus

While Giganotosaurus is a huge predator from South America, Gigantosaurus (named for being gigantic) is a much lesser known dinosaur. Gigantosaurus is a name given to sauropod remains that were found in Cambridge, UK.

Giganotosaurus preyed on one of the largest land animals of all time!

Perhaps it is not that surprising that a giant predator would eat giant prey, but Giganotosaurus certainly took this task seriously. Its presumed prey is the Argentinosaurus. Argentinosaurus was a South American sauropod known for its huge size.

Discovered in 1987 by a farmer on his own land, Argentinosaurus is thought to have been as long as 39 metres in length, making it triple the length of Giganotosaurus. Wow!

Giganotosaurus could reach speeds of up to 20mph

Being able to sprint in order to chase down its fleeing prey would certainly have been a huge advantage for Giganotosaurus, who would have needed to eat plenty of food to support its enormous size. Scientists think that this mighty dinosaur could have been able to run at speeds of 20 miles per hour for short distances, making it a formidable predator indeed.

“Take some time to learn about your favourite dinosaurs right here in our dinosaur blog posts or put your knowledge to the test in our cool dinosaur quiz: What kind of dinosaur are you?

Giganotosaurus had a relatively small brain

Despite being bigger and faster than T-Rex, it seems that this Therapod wasn’t anywhere near as clever as the world’s favourite dinosaur. Actually the Giganotosaurus’s brain was less than half the size of that of a T-Rex.

Judging from the narrow Giganotosaurus skull, scientists have been able to discern that its brain would have been roughly the shape and weight of a banana. Of course, bananas didn’t exist yet during the Cretaceous period. This means that Giganotosaurus wouldn’t have been anywhere near as intelligent as T-Rex, who had a brain bigger than a human brain. When you consider the size of these animals and how much of their brains would have been used to run their bodies effectively, it actually leaves very little for thinking.

We still wouldn’t like to go head to head with one though, would you?

Source: YouTube T-Rex vs Giganotosaurus

Giganotosaurus wasn’t discovered until 1993

A low leg bone (tibia) of Giganotosaurus was discovered in Patagonia, Argentina, in 1993 by amateur fossil hunter, Rubén D. Carolini. Carolini was driving a dune buggy when he discovered the bones and he alerted palaeontologists at the National University of Camahue, who came to excavate the remains.

The specimen actually had preserved around 70% of the skeleton and scientists were able to tell that the dinosaur was bigger than the T-Rex, which was still thought to be the biggest carnivorous dinosaur of all time up until this point.

The dinosaur was named Giganotosaurus Carolinii in 1995, 90 years after the first discovery of T-Rex.

Giganotosaurus was not a Tyrannosaurus

A low leg bone (tibia) of Giganotosaurus was discovered in Patagonia, Argentina, in 1993 by amateur fossil hunter, Rubén D. Carolini. Carolini was driving a dune buggy when he discovered the bones and he alerted palaeontologists at the National University of Camahue, who came to excavate the remains.

The specimen actually had preserved around 70% of the skeleton and scientists were able to tell that the dinosaur was bigger than the T-Rex, which was still thought to be the biggest carnivorous dinosaur of all time up until this point.

The dinosaur was named Giganotosaurus Carolinii in 1995, 90 years after the first discovery of T-Rex.

Giganotosaurus was not a Tyrannosaurus

The discovery of Giganotosaurus and the fact that it displaced the mighty tyrannosaurus rex as the biggest predatory dinosaur at the time of discovery has meant that scientists have drawn a lot of comparisons between Giganotosaurus and T-Rex. But Giganotosaurus isn’t actually a Tyrannosaurus at all.

Giganotosaurus is actually a type of Allosaurus. However, both Tyrannosaurus and Allosaurus are types of Theropod. Theropods are known for being meat eating dinosaurs that stood upright on two powerful back limbs and typically had two shorter front limbs.

If you’d like to learn more about the world’s favourite dinosaur, check out our terrifying facts about T-Rex.

Come and see the dinosaurs at Paultons Park!

If you’re intrigued by Gigantosaurus, we know that you’ll love meeting the dinosaurs here at the Lost Kingdom in Paultons Park.

Explore the park on the Dinosaur Tour Co for a classic 4×4 adventure around the park spotting the different dinosaurs and taking in the incredible prehistoric landscape.

Or race around on a friendly Triceratops on the family friendly Dino Chase coaster that will delight junior aspiring palaeontologists reaching top speeds of 15 mph.

Book your tickets to Lost Kingdom today to make unforgettable memories with your family.

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