Move over, tyrannosaurus rex.
The largest meat-eating dinosaur, a 42-foot-long, 6- to 8-ton behemoth called giganotosaurus carolinii and discovered in Argentina, has taken its place as the largest meat-eating dinosaur.
The first bones of the new king of the prehistoric beasts, which lived about 90 million years ago, were found in 1993 by an amateur fossil hunter, Reuben Carolini. Its skull, backbone, pelvis and leg bones subsequently were excavated by two Argentine paleontologists, who described the find in today’s edition of the journal Nature.
The report says the titanic predator is “the largest therapod ever recorded from the Southern Hemisphere and is probably the world’s biggest predatory dinosaur.” It was written by Rodolfo Coria of the Carmen Funes Museum in Neuquen, Argentina, and Leonardo Saigado of Argentina’s National University of Comahue.
Coria and Saigado said the shattered skull bones of the dinosaur, parts of which are missing, make it impossible to make an exact comparison between the size of its head and that of tyrannosaurus. But its thigh bone is about 2 inches longer than that of T. rex, and all its bones are “more robust,” indicating that it was much heavier.
The two giant meat-eaters giganotosaurus and the later tyrannosaurus evolved completely independently of each other.