Allosaurus

Allosaurus fragilis

  • Pronounced:  Al - o - Saw - rus

  • Diet:  Carnivore (Meat-Eater)

  • Name Means:  "Different Lizard"

  • Length:  25 - 40 feet (7 - 12 m)

  • Height:  10 - 14 feet (3 - 4.5 m)

  • Weight:  1 - 5 tons(1,000 - 4,500 kilos)

  • Time:  Late Jurassic - 150 mya

Fossil remains for this Dinosaur have been found in Western United States

One of the most popular and well known dinosaurs, Allosaurus was the most ferocious meat-eater of the Jurassic. It was the first of the really big meat-eaters which had huge heads filled with lots of sharp teeth. It could run very fast, close to 40 mph, and had very strong arms and long, sharp, curved claws on its hands. One of its hand claws was more than one foot long!

Allosaurus lived among some of the largest dinosaurs to ever walk the earth and it is likely that it hunted some of smaller members of these families. Even the smaller members would have been huge, and this required Allosaurus to have great strength.

Allosaurus is the namesake of the very successful allosaurid family of dinosaurs. This family includes what may be the very largest carnivore, the Giganotosaurus  and other creatures such as the Acrocanthosaurus  and Carcharodontosaurus  Its more distant relatives are the raptors and tyrannosaurs of the late Cretaceous.

Allosaurus had relatively small teeth for such a large dinosaur, especially when compared to later big carnivores. It probably had a weak bite compared to its size, but its mouth could open very wide. Allosaurus most likely used its very heavily muscled arms with its huge claws as potent weapons in bringing down and holding its prey. It also was close to having true stereo vision - its big eyes had some forward vision that would have allowed for a degree of depth perception.

There is a great deal known about this dinosaur's life style. Footprint evidence indicates it hunted in groups and that it cared for its young in large nests. It inhabited floodplains, meadows and some forests.



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