Dec
17
2007

In case you forgot, dinosaurs are still great. Here’s a new one.

The carcharodontosaurus: It died shortly after attempting to pronounce its own name.
The carcharodontosaurus: It died shortly after attempting to pronounce its own name.Courtesy ArthurWeasley
They (The Man) have just unveiled a newly discovered (or at least newly named) giant meat-eating dinosaur.

The Carcharodontosaurus iguidenis was a therapod, a two-legged meat-eater as big (or maybe bigger) than the t. rex. Its head wasn’t quite as robust as the tyrannosaurs’, though, and its teeth were more knife-like, instead of the thick spear point teeth of the t. rex.

The carcharodontosaurus was found in Niger, and it dates to the late Cretaceous. The Cretaceous is probably my favorite period in the Mesozoic anyway (mostly because it was the only one to have flowers), but North Africa in the Cretaceous is something particularly remarkable. It would have been warm and wet (like a mangrove swamp, maybe) and it was filthy with some of the coolest dinosaurs. There were three huge meat-eater species (two of which, the carcharodontosaurus and the spinosaurus were at least as large as the tyrannosaurus rex) living in the same area at the same time, alongside some of the biggest dinosaurs ever to live, the titanosaurs. Titanosaurs were a family of four-legged, long necked and long tailed dinosaurs, and some of them probably weighed in around 100 tons (maybe a little less, maybe a lot more, depending on who you believe).

It would be like, I don’t know, if Kodiak bears, Bengal tigers, African lions, and elephants all lived in the same neighborhood. But way, way bigger (if you think about it, one big titanosaur weighed as much as a small herd of elephants). Man, it would almost be worth getting stepped on and then eaten, just to see what it was like in person.

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