Carcharodontosaurus, a huge carnivore from the Upper Cretaceous period


The carcharodontosaurids were a group of giant carnivorous dinosaurs that rivalled and even exceeded Tyrannosaurus in size. Scientists have calculated that one of them, Giganotosaurus, could run at 50 km/h, which is just slower than an ostrich, but 13 km/h faster than a gold medal-winning Olympic sprinter. Carcharodontosaurids were top predators in the ancient continent of Gondwanaland: the area of the world that's now the southern hemisphere continents - South America, Africa, Antarctica, Australia - and India. They evolved from an Allosaurus-like ancestor and became extinct about 89 million years ago.

Scientific name: Carcharodontosauridae

Rank: Family

Common names:

Shark-toothed lizards

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Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

When they lived

Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.

Cretaceous period Cretaceous period
The Cretaceous ended with the most famous mass extinction in history - the one that killed the dinosaurs. Prior to that, it was a warm period with no ice caps at the poles.