Origin of the giganotosaurus
The term ‘dinosauria’ was coined in the 1840s by Richard Owen and it referred to fearsome and formidable reptiles or lizards. The dinosaurs are believed to be the one of the earliest of the vertebrates to have stridden the surface of the earth and these animals were first noticed in the Triassic period and since then they survived several millions of years.
The dinosaurs were of various varieties and these subdivisions have been reached by carefully studying the fossilized remains uncovered from different corners of the earth from time to time and categorizing different groups according to their physical features and common characteristics. It was in the 19th century that for the first time various dinosaur fossils began to be excavated especially in the different parts of North America and Europe.
These unusual skeletal remains having no similarity to any present animal species considerably roused the interest of the scientists and even paleontologists who got involved in an extensive study of these specimens. It was during this research work that the primary evidences regarding the presence of gigantic creatures like the dinosaurs came into light. Since then the study of dinosaurs have generated immense interest and with more and more remains of this primitive animal being discovered, the study of dinosaurs have gained a new momentum.
It was over 200 million years ago that the dinosaurs lived on the earth and a sudden catastrophic disaster led to their extinction about 65 million years ago towards the end of the cretaceous period.
From the very name giganotosaurus it is evident that these dinosaurs were of huge size and if one traces the origin of its name, the giganotosaurus derives its name from the Greek dialect where the term ‘gigas’ means giant, ‘notos’ refers to the south wind and the term ‘saurus’ means a lizard. Therefore, the giganotosaurus referred to the giant southern lizard which resided on the surface of the earth during the Turonian stage of the later cretaceous period about 90 million years ago. According to the researchers and scientists the giganotosaurus were descendents of the carcharodauntosaurid dinosaurs which are again a variant of the theropod dinosaurs.
These carcharodauntosaurid dinosaurs were popularly referred to as ‘shark toothed lizards’ and this category of dinosaurs were considered to be the largest of carnivorous predators after the spinosaurids. The giganotosaurus, as its very name suggests is considered by scientists to be the largest of the terrestrial carnivorous dinosaurs and it was even larger and more gigantic compared to the ferocious predator tyrannosaurus rex.
It was only recently in the closing years of the 20th century that the first specimens of the giganotosaurus was discovered in the Argentinean region of Patagonia at the Rio Limay Formation by Ruben Carolini. The giganotosaurus carolini was named after its discoverer. In these regions were excavated different parts of the skeleton of the giganotosaurus like those of the backbone, skull, leg bones and the pelvic region.
Physical features and behavioral pattern
Much of the information regarding the corporeal features and habits of the giganotosaurus were analyzed after a detailed study of its skeletal remains uncovered in recent times. The giganotosaurus had a prominently visible and large head and is believed to have possessed the longest skull among the different variants of the theropod dinosaurs. However, it can be pointed out here that though the giganotosaurus was larger in size than the tyrannosaurus, its brain was much smaller in size than the tyrannosaurus and quite small and insignificant compared to the hugeness of the size of its head. In fact it can be said without a trace of doubt that the giganotosaurus had a giant shaped head which constituted one of the most prominent features of its body.
The giganotosaurus was a mammoth sized carnivore which was larger in size compared to the tyrannosaurus rex and measured over 40 ft in length. In fact, the giganotosaurus specimens recovered from the Argentinean region of Patagonia reveal that they were about 43 ft long and weighed a little over 6 tons.
It is interesting to note that the various skeletal remains also go to prove that the olfactory region of the giganotosaurus was immensely well developed which therefore suggest that the giganotosaurus had a sharp and sensitive sense of smell which in their turn may have aided them in hunting down their preys. The fossils of this specie of dinosaur recovered during the 1990s also provide enough evidence to prove that these dinosaurs were voracious carnivores who feasted on the larger herbivores of their kind.
In fact, scientists have proved effectively from the available evidence that the teeth of the giganotosaurus were about 8 inches long and pierced the flesh of its prey unlike crushing its bones like the tyrannosaurus rex.
The teeth of the giganotosaurus
It is necessary to remember at this point that the giganotosaurus were members of the carcharodauntosaurid dinosaurs which are known for their ‘shark tooth’ and it is these specialized teeth which is believed to have aided these carnivores in cutting and tearing the flesh of their prey. Both the upper and lower jaw of the mouth of the giganotosaurus was lined by a series of pointed sharp teeth which benefited the gigantic animal by aiding them in hunting and eventual catching of prey.
Here again it is possible to point out that while the tyrannosaurus rex also possessed sharp and jagged teeth, their teeth were much more wider and elongated which aided these carnivores in tearing through the flesh and cutting across bones. Much on the contrary the giganotosaurus possessed shorter and narrower teeth and all their teeth were usually of similar shape and size unlike the tyrannosaurus which had teeth of uneven shapes and sizes and because of the specific characteristic of their teeth the giganotosaurus were better tailored to wedge flesh.
The discovery of the various specimens of the giganotosaurus in the 1990s in parts of Argentina opened up a whole new world in front of the researchers and scientists and even the paleontologists as a lot of information regarding the carnivorous predators came to the forefront and since then the study of dinosaurs have received an immense impetus in the positive sense.
The discovery of the giganotosaurus has proved to be of extreme importance in the field of research work related to dinosaurs as they provided a very comprehensive and complete view of the carnivorous predators who resided in the southern hemisphere and these specimens have also considerably aided the study of other dinosaur variants whose fossils were also discovered alongside the giganotosaurus like those of the titanosaur.