- Name meaning:
- 'Carcharodon lizard'
- Type of dinosaur:
- large theropod
Carcharodontosaurus was a very large meat-eating dinosaur.
It is named after Carcharodon, the scientific name for several types of shark - of which the great white shark is the only living example.
Carcharodontosaurus teeth look a lot like shark teeth. Like Tyrannosaurus, it had about 60 of them.
Where did Carcharodontosaurus live?
Carcharodontosaurus fossils have been found across North Africa in Algeria, Egypt and Morocco.
In the Late Cretaceous, this region was warm and humid with rainforests, rivers and lakes.
Carcharodontosaurus lived alongside many other dinosaurs, including sauropods such as Paralititan and Rebbachisaurus and the theropods Spinosaurus and Deltadromeus.
What did Carcharodontosaurus eat?
Scientists aren't sure what Carcharodontosaurus ate. It most likely fed on large prey such as plant-eating dinosaurs.
Carcharodontosaurus had a much less powerful bite than Tyrannosaurus and more fragile teeth. But while it probably didn't crush bones, its teeth were suited to ripping flesh.
How big was Carcharodontosaurus?
Carcharodontosaurus is one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs known. At one point, scientists thought its skull might be the longest ever found. It was around 1.6 metres in length.
The full animal could reach lengths of at least 12.5 metres - a size comparable to Tyrannosaurus.
Giganotosaurus may have been even larger than both dinosaurs. A lack of complete remains makes it hard to be sure.
Were Carcharodontosaurus and Giganotosaurus related?
Carcharodontosaurus was a close relative of Giganotosaurus.
Both dinosaurs are carcharodontosaurs - a group that also contains several other interesting dinosaurs, such as the peculiar-looking Concavenator and the British theropod Neovenator.
Yet Carcharodontosaurus and Giganotosaurus didn't live in the same place. Giganotosaurus is found in South America.
The close relation of these two dinosaurs may be because Africa and South America were once connected. They broke apart during the Cretaceous Period. Scientists are still debating exactly when the separation occurred.
- Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Carcharodontosauridae
- Named by:
- Stromer (1931)
- Type species: