Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

A new giant carnivorous dinosaur from the Cretaceous of Patagonia

Abstract

LARGE carnivorous animals, the top members of the trophic chain, are rare, and flesh-eating dinosaurs were rarer still. For years the only known giant theropods were Tyrannosaums rex1 and the poorly known Deinocheirus mirificus2, both from the Northern Hemisphere, but many important new dinosaurs have been dis-covered in the Southern Hemisphere during the past decade, con-siderably increasing our knowledge of ancient ecosystems. Here we report a new giant carnivorous dinosaur from the Upper Creta-ceous of northwestern Patagonia (Argentina). This new taxon, Giganotosaums carolinii gen. et. sp. nov., is characterized by aproportionally low skull, a reduced shoulder girdle, and robust vertebrae and hind limbs. It represents a primitive evolutionary iteration of large theropods, and provides an opportunity to exam-ine the Gondwanan dinosaur palaeocommunities and their relation-ships to those from Laurasia. Several characters place G. carolinii within the Tetanurae3, and closer to Neotetanurae4 than to Torvosauroidea4. G. carolinii is the largest theropod ever recorded from the Southern Hemisphere, and is probably the world's biggest predatory dinosaur, having a body 12.5 metres long and an estima-ted weight of 6 to 8 tonnes.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Osborn, H. F. Bull. Am. Mus. nat. Hist. 21, 259–265 (1905).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Osmólska, H. & Roniewicz, E. Palaeont. pol. 21, 5–9 (1970).

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Gauthier, J. Mem. Calif. Acad. Sci. 8, 1–55 (1986).

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Sereno, P., Wilson, J. A., Larsson, H. C. E., Dutteil, D. B. & Sues, H.-D. Science 260, 267–271 (1994).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Calvo, J. O. & Bonaparte, J. F. Ameghiniana 28, 303–310 (1991).

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Bonaparte, J. F. & Coria, R. A. Ameghiniana 30, 271–282 (1993).

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Coria, R. A., Salgado, L. & Calvo, J. O. Ameghiniana 28, 405–406 (1991).

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Calvo, J. O. Ameghiniana 28, 241–258 (1991).

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Bonaparte, J. F. & Novas, F. Ameghiniana 21, 259–265 (1985).

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Madsen, J. H. Utah Geol. Min. Surv. Bull. 109, 1–163 (1976).

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Bonaparte, J. F. Nat. geog. Res. 205, 1377–1379 (1985).

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Bonaparte, J. F. Annls Paleont. 72, 247–289 (1986).

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Britt, B. B. BYU Geol. Stud. 37, 1–72 (1991).

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Holtz, T. R. J. Paleont. 68, 1100–1117 (1994).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Horner, J. R. & Lessen, D. The complete T. rex (Simon & Schuster, 1993).

    Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Calvo, J. O. & Gazzera, C. E. Jornadas arg. Paleo. Vert. VI, San Juan, 3–5 (1989).

  17. 17

    Calvo, J. O. & Bonaparte, J. F. Jornadas arg. Paleo. Vert. V. La Plata, 12 (1988).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Coria, R., Salgado, L. A new giant carnivorous dinosaur from the Cretaceous of Patagonia. Nature 377, 224–226 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1038/377224a0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing