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Giganotosaurus

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Giganotosaurus is one of the largest theropods, around the same size as Tyrannosaurus rex and Carcharodontosaurus, but smaller than Spinosaurus.

Discovery

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.

Giganotosaurus02

The holotype specimen's (MUCPv-Ch1) skeleton was about 70% complete and included the

skull, pelvis, leg bones and most of the backbone. It is estimated around 6.5 tons in weight, 13 feet (3.9 meters) tall at the hip and 12.2-12.5 m (40-41 ft) in length. A second specimen (MUCPv-95), was estimated at 8% larger. This larger Giganotosaurus specimen was estimated to represent an individual 13,2 m (43 ft) long that weighed 8 tons. However many sicentist say it was most likely the same size. Giganotosaurus might have had  one the longest known skull for a theropod dinosaur, with the holotype's skull estimated at 1.54 meters and the paratype's skull estimated at 1.64 meters. Tyrannosaurus outweighed Giganotosaurus because of the extra muscle-mass, but Giganotosaurus is slightly longer.
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Paleobiology

Giganotosaurus lived in Argentina alongside giant Sauropod like Limaysaurus and Andesaurus
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. 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 one the biggest
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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 even 50.4 km/h, much faster than Olympic Sprinters! It had over 60 8-inch (19 cm.), blade-like teeth that could easily  pierce and rip through its unfortunate victims' flesh.
File:Giganotosaurus14m.jpg

In 2005 Francois Terrier e.a. estimated that the bite force of Giganotosaurus was three times less than that of Tyrannosaurus and that the lower jaws were optimised for inflicting slicing wounds; the point of the mandibula was reinforced to this purpose with a "chin" and broadened to handle smaller prey.

In the Media

The original fossils of Giganotosaurus remain at the Carmen Funes Museum in Neuquen, Argentina, but replicas are
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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.

Gigantosaurus

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.

File:Gigano2.jpg
Giganotosaurus makes an appearance in the 2008 video game, 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 noticeable 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
File:Turok Giganotosaurus.jpg
is shorter and leaner than Mama Scarface, but is possibly longer in terms of length.

Giganotosaurus appears in Prehistoric Monsters Revealed.

File:Giganotosaurus dinosaurs.png
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.

File:You Are Umasou Giganotosaurus.jpg

Giganotosaurus appeared in the Japanese animated film You Are Umasou, but only in a flashback scene.

See also

Giganotosaurus Gallery

References

Sites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giganotosaurus

http://www.beastsevolved.tk/2011/03/theropod-size-part-ii.html

http://www.mnhn.fr/museum/front/medias/publication/7653_g06n1a4.pdf

http://www.wikidino.com/?page_id=566

http://www.dinochecker.com/dinosaurs/GIGANOTOSAURUS

http://dinosaurs.about.com/od/carnivorousdinosaurs/p/giganotosaurus.htm

Documentaries:

Prehistoric monsters Revealed

Walking with Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia

Beyond T. rex

T. rex: Clash of the Titans

Books:

Ultimate Book of Dinosaurs; by Paul Dowswell, John Malam, Paul Mason, Steve Parker

Dino Wars; by Jinny Johnson, consulted by Michael J. Benton

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