Giganotosaurus was a colossal dinosaur that roamed the Earth during the Late Cretaceous period, approximately 99-97 million years ago. Although already well know its appearance in Jurassic World Dominion has given it a massive boost in popularity in the last couple of years and the most common question is how big was the giganotosaurus!
Giganotosaurus has a range of estimates on it size since its first discovery in 1993 in South America. These range from 38-44 feet in length, 13-15 feet in height (at the hips) and from 12 – 26,000 lbs in weight over the years. It is considered to be one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs ever discovered.
While we have the short answer above there is a little more to its size than just the stats and we will jump into that in all the sections below, including what it compares to, when it was discovered and more on its size .
What was the Giganotosaurus
Giganotosaurus, also known as the “giant southern lizard,” was one of the largest and most fearsome carnivorous dinosaurs to ever roam the Earth. It lived around 99 to 95 million years ago in South America ( hence the name) and would have preyed on pretty much anything as it was the Apex predator in its environment However it is thought it may have hunted the large, although possibly juvenile, sauropods of the time like argentinosaurus and this opened question if it hunted in groups.
It was a theropod dinosaur which means it walked on two legs and like others of its size, spinosaurus expected, its arms were not particularly large, although they appear to have been slightly more functional than a T-Rex arms, and they had three fingers rather than 2. This was made up for by its truly massive over 5ft long head filled with razer sharp long teeth,.
We take a closer look at what made this giant southern lizard such a formidable predator. below and include tables to show you its size and well as how it stacked up net to other dinosaurs.
How Big Was a Giganotosaurus?
The biggest carnivore the world has ever seen – Alan GrantYoutube
Soooo much debate from dino nerds like us to less nerdy movie goers who came out of the cinema and googled the question after watching the movie and hearing Alan Grant (Sam Neil)) say this is one of the reasons we thought it useful to write this page, hopefully you feel so too.
Giganotosaurus was one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs to have ever walked the Earth. Its size and physical attributes were impressive even by dinosaur standards. Here are some key sizes to consider, and then we will do the reasons why largest dinosaur is a difficult concept to quantify be they carnivore, herbivore or even omnivore. – It didn’t stop us trying though, which is where the links take you.
Table 1: Size of Giganotosaurus.
|Giganotosaurus||12.2-13.8 m (40-45 ft)||4.0-4.5 m (14-15 ft)||6,800-12,000 kg (15,000-26,600 lb)||Late Cretaceous (99.6-95 million years ago)|
Giganotosaurus measured around 43-46 feet (12-14 meters) in length from nose to tail. That’s slightly longer than Tyrannosaurus rex, though probably shorter than a Spinosaurus, and makes it one of the largest theropods ever discovered. However there have been estimates as long as 47 feet in previous years.
Giganotosaurus’ weight estimates vary widely, some suggesting it weighed as little as 6-7 tons, while others put the figure closer to 12-13 tons. That’s about the weight of two adult male elephants, however the current ( it changes ALOT!) average weight is thought to be around 7 tons, or about 14,000 Lbs not a lightweight by any measure!
Giganotosaurus stood around 12-13 feet (3.6-4 meters) tall at the hips. That’s about the height of a single-story house and may have been a little taller than a T-Rex but shorter than a Spinosaurus, especially when including the sail.
Giganotosaurus has been described as an oversized Allosaurus, Its skull was long and narrow, with serrated teeth that could slice through flesh like a knife. Its arms were relatively short and stumpy, but powerful enough to grasp onto prey. It also had ridges or crests on its head.
Its hind legs were muscular and allowed it to run at high speeds, potentially up to 30 miles per hour (48-56 kilometers per hour). Though this was suggested in 2001 and since then the speed estimated for large carnivores have come down dramatically ( the T-Rex speed we talk about here)
Although the wight, as we mentioned above, has been estimated at some points to go up to 26,000 lbs plus, it is currently thought that it was much slimmer and less bulky than this, maybe 13,000 lbs or so. If the speeds it may have moved are in fact accurate it would have to have been to allow its legs to actually run without breaking!.
Comparison to Other Dinosaurs
While Giganotosaurus is certainly one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs that have ever lived, it was not the biggest…probably – so we don’t get into trouble. The Tyrannosaurus Rex, which lived about 25-30 million years after Giganotosaurus, was slightly and heavier,
However, Giganotosaurus was still bigger than the Allosaurus, which lived about 60 million years before Giganotosaurus and had a length of around 28 feet and a weight of up to 3+ tons. Allosaurus, another well-known theropod, was much smaller than Giganotosaurus, measuring around 28 (8.5-9 meters) in length and weighing around 2-5 tons.
While Giganotosaurus was slightly longer than T. rex, it was not as heavy. T. rex weighed an estimated 9-10 tons at its very top end, making it significantly bulkier than Giganotosaurus if we take the average estimates.
Another dinosaur that was similar in size to Giganotosaurus was the Carcharodontosaurus, which lived in North Africa around the same time as Giganotosaurus. Both dinosaurs had long, slender skulls and sharp, serrated teeth adapted for slicing through tough flesh. These two huge dinos are often stitched in largest carnivores lists.
It also coexisted with other large herbivorous dinosaurs, such as Argentinosaurus which may have been among the largest animals to ever walk the earth. While Giganotosaurus possibly hunted these massive creatures, it has led to suggestions it may have been a pack hunter or preyed on juvenile sauropods as bringing down a full grown argentinosaurus would be difficult and risky even for a full size giganotosaurus.
Although it did not exist either in the same place or at the same time as the Therizinosaurus the two have had an on screen meeting in Jurassic World Dominion, and although we won’t throw a spoiler your way, you can check out what we think of that match up in our Giganotosaurus Vs. Therizinosaurus article here on the site.
|Dinosaur||Length (m)||Height at Hips (m)||Weight||When it Lived (mya)|
|Giganotosaurus||12-14 meters||3-4.5 meters||6,800-12,000 kg||99-95 Mya|
|Carnotaurus||7-8 meters||2.5 – 3 meters||1,350 2,000 kg||71-69 mya|
|T-Rex||12.3-12.8||4 meters||8-9000 kg||68-66 mya|
|Allosaurus||8-12||3.5-4.3 meters||up to 3,000 kg||155-145 mya|
|Baryonyx||7.5-10||2.5-3 meters||1-1,700 kg||130-125 mya|
|Spinosaurus||12-17 meters||4-7 metres||7400 ( currently)||99-93 mya|
|Therizinosaurus||9-10 meters||4-5 meters||3-5000 kg||70 mya|
Of course new fossils are found all the time so these are subject to change.
How do we know the size of Giganotosaurus?
Giganotosaurus is known only from the current fossil discoveries, although one is at around 70% complete which is pretty good for a dinosaur fossil! From these remains, scientists have been able to estimate the size and weight of this massive predator using a few different methods. ( we discuss these methods in our other “How Big” articles listed below as well.
One way to estimate the size of Giganotosaurus is by using its bones. Paleontologists can use mathematical equations that take into account the size and shape of the bones to work out the overall size of the animal.
Compare to other dinosaurs and animals
Another way to estimate the size is by comparing its fossils to those of other closely related dinosaurs, such as Carcharodontosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex. By comparing the sizes of their bones and teeth, scientists can make educated guesses about how big Giganotosaurus may have been.
Although this method gives ball park figures it can be risky, spinosaurus has been estimated with the bulk of a T-Rex, which currently it is thought to have been much much MUCH slimmer for example.
In addition to bone measurements and the comparisons, computer modeling can also be used to estimate the size of Giganotosaurus.
By using the measurements of its known bones, scientists can create a 3D digital model of the animal and make estimates about its size and weight. This enables them to start to research how the dinosaur would have moved, and its possible speed as well.
Habitat and Discovery
Giganotosaurus was alive on the Earth during the Late Cretaceous period, approximately 98 to 97 million years ago. It lived in what is now South America. The environment at the time was a mix of forests, grasslands, and wetlands, with a warm and humid climate.
The first fossils of Giganotosaurus were discovered in 1993 by an Argentinian ameteur fossil hunter named Rubén Carolini while he was on a dune buggy. The full name of giganotosaurus is
The fossils were found in the Neuquén Province of Argentina, in rocks that date back to the late Cretaceous period. The discovery was important because it was the first time that such a large carnivorous dinosaur had been found in South America and as we discussed it also had a claim for the title of largest carnivore dinosaur ever!
Giganotosaurus was one of the largest meat-eating dinosaurs that ever lived, rivaled in size only Tyrannosaurus rex in terms of weight and by Spinosaurus in terms of length and height.
At up to 43-44 feet long and over 7,000 kg or 15,000 lbs it was a formidable predator. This large size would have been important and allowed it to dominate its ecosystem during the Late Cretaceous period. Its skull alone was over 5 feet in length and it is thought to be on, if not the largest skull of any carnivorous dinosaur.
Hi, I am Roy Ford a General Studies and English Teacher who has taught all over the world. What started as a fossil collection became a great way to teach, motivate and inspire students of all ages and all over the world about dinosaurs and from that and children’s love of dinosaurs came the site dinosaur facts for kids, a resource for all ages.