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There it is, the biggest land predator ever in South America: Giganotosaurus.
— Allen Johnson, about Giganotosaurus
in Land of Giants

Giganotosaurus (name meaning "Giant Southern Lizard") is a genus of carcharodontosaurid dinosaur that originated during the Early Cretaceous period in what is now South America. A powerful predator measuring 14 meters long, standing over 5 meters tall, and weighed 12 tons, it was one of the largest terrestrial carnivores known. Only Tyrannosaurus is larger, at a maximum of 15 meters long and 18 tons. Allosaurus and other Allosaurids were close relatives of Giganotosaurus whereas the African predatory dinosaur Carcharodontosaurus was a distant cousin.

In the episode "Clash of the Titans", a pack of Giganotosaurus was brought back from the park from South America of 127 million years ago. One individual, named Gin, chased the team around its territory. Of all of the parks Giganotosaurus, Gin is said to be the most dangerous.

FactsEdit

Era & DiscoveryEdit

Giganotosaurus lived in South America during the Early to Middle Cretaceous period from 127–95 million years ago. It was the top predator of its time and hunted just about anything in its environment, from as small as Iguanodon to as large as Argentinosaurus. In 1993, the amateur fossil hunter Rubén D. Carolini discovered the tibia of a theropod dinosaur while driving a dune buggy in the badlands near Villa El Chocón, in the Neuquén province of Patagonia, Argentina.

In 1995, the specimen was preliminarily described in Nature by Coria and Salgado, who made it the holotype of the new genus and species: Giganotosaurus carolinii (parts of the skeleton were still encased in plaster at this time). Ever since then, many Giganotosaurus fossils have been found in parts of South America where Argentina is today.

Physical AttributesEdit

Gigantosaurus

Giganotosaurus was a massive predator. Although almost as large as Tyrannosaurus rex and being slightly larger than Spinosaurus, Giganotosaurus was the largest and alpha predator of its time and region. They stood 16–18 feet (5–5.5 m) tall, measured 43–46 feet (13–14 m) in length, and weighed up to roughly 7–14 tons (14,000–28,000 lbs), making Giganotosaurus one of the largest theropod dinosaurs that ever walked planet Earth, second after T. rex itself. 

In terms of physical appearance, Giganotosaurus was very similar to the Jurassic predator Allosaurus, despite the fact that Giganotosaurus was even larger and stronger. Giganotosaurus was depicted as being mostly brown with a white underbelly and its crest was dark green. Its legs had black spots running down the femur and white stripes along the tibia. It had a large body that ended in a long tail; a short neck with a large head; jaws that were lined with long, serrated teeth designed to slice flesh. On the top of its head, above its eyes, was a small head crest. It also had two relatively long arms with three digits per hand, each ending in a long, sharp curved claw. It also had a pair of long legs.

Behavior & TraitsEdit

Like many predators, Giganotosaurus was both solitary and a group hunter, living and hunting in numbers of five or six individuals. At least some were known to stray from the pack and go off hunting on their own for prey individually. On their own, they would be able to hunt some of the smaller animals in their ecosystem, such as an Iguanodon as well as Early Cretaceous ankylosaurs and the smaller hypsilophodonts. A single Giganotosaurus would have a lot of trouble taking down a fully grown Argentinosaurus by itself.

However, hunting in packs enabled Giganotosaurus to hunt the largest prey in their time, Argentinosaurus. Once they brought down and fed on an Argentinosaurus, even if it was a juvenile, the Giganotosaurus pack wouldn't need to feed again for at least a few months. This massive predatory dinosaur was also an ambush predator and waited for the herbivores to come in closer, much like crocodiles waiting at river crossings. Generally, upon finding or seeing prey, Giganotosaurus would head to the prey, catch it in its jaws and immediately devour it.

Journal EntryEdit

Giganotosaurus ("Giant Southern Lizard"), or "Giga" for short, is one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs that ever walked the Earth, roaming and hunting across the plans of what is now Argentina, South America during the Early Cretaceous Era as the apex predator of its time. Reaching a length of more than 44 ft. long, growing to stand around 18 ft. tall, and weighing more than 6300 kilograms, the only larger theropod was Tyrannosaurus rex.

With their large leg mussels, Giganotosaurus was also a relatively fast dinosaur, despite their large size and heavy-weight. Their bite was almost on par with T. rex, but fighting with other apex predators alone, even when its one of their own, could still lead to a lethal outcome. Giganotosaurus was similar in appearance to Allosaurus, with three-fingered claw hands and crests over their eyes, however, they were far larger than the Jurassic carnivores.

When they are alone, Giganotosaurus often attack using bite and run tactics, biting and then retreating. But when pack hunting, one Giganotosaurus would act as a distraction while the others dashed in to take chunks out of their prey. Like any large theropod, ambushing with sneak attacks is a solid strategy for them as well. Giganotosaurus was so large it could bring down even the large sauropod dinosaurs. A massive theropod, they were also homeothermic, meaning that they can generate heat internally.

— Allen, in his Journal, about Giganotosaurus

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Giganotosaurus is the second-largest predatory dinosaur, as well as terrestrial carnivore, brought to the park.
  • The sound effects of Giganotosaurus are that of bear, elephant, lion, and leopard sound effects. It also produces sounds used in the history channel docu-series "Jurassic Fight Club" and the TV series "Teen Wolf".
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