How Big Was Meraxes Gigas?

Image Credit: Carlos Papolio, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

if you wanted to learn about dinosaurs 20 or 30 years ago, right after watching Jurassic Park maybe, you would have a much easier time! Dinosaurs, at least new ones, are discovered at a rate of about 40 to 50 a year. ( so that’s another 800 or so since you walked out of that cinema) and although some slip by unnoticed, some like Meraxes Gigas capture the imagination. here we take a look at one of the newest, to us at least, dinosaurs, and answer the question How Big was the Meraxes gigas.

Meraxes Gigas was a large sized carnivorous dinosaur that measured around 33-38 feet (10-11.5 metres) and was about 9 feet (3 metres) tall at the hip, and it has an estimated weight of 8800 lbs. (4000 kg). It has short arms like many other large predators and a large skull of around 4 feet in length.

Meraxes to use it first name, we know it quite well by now, is a newly described dinosaur although it was actually discovered about 11 years ago in 2012 at the time of writing. it has caused quite a commotion in the paleontological world as it is both a large predator, and they are not unearthed that often, and its short arms help to prove a theory called convergent evolution, which we will take a quick look at below as well as its size and comparison to other dinosaurs.

Meraxes gigas ilustración científica realizada por Carlos Papolio

What Was Meraxes gigas

Meraxes was a was a carnivorous theropod dinosaur that lived between 95 and 93 million years ago during the mid to late cretaceous period in what is now South America. Its name means “Meraxes Giant” and we explain why this came bout is a section further down.

it looked similar as well as these other large dinosaurs with a large 4 feet plus head, small fore limbs and powerful back legs and tail.

How Big was Meraxes Gigas.

T-Rex sized (well almost) dinosaurs are not discovered every day, and Meraxes was a significant find. As we mentioned above Meraxes Gigas measured around 33-38 feet (10-11.5 metres) was about 9 feet (3 metres) tall at the hip, and has an estimated weight of 8800 lbs. (4000 kg).

Although the size above is the newest estimates form 2023, ( these things change a lot! which if you are reading this 5-10 years later you can attest to!) in 2022 it was described as around 30 to 33 feet long, In 2023 33-38 feet long and in 2024… who knows.

its head was 4.2 feet long, which while shorter than Giganotosaurus, and Carcharodontosaurus is still a huge head with a set of sharp pointed teeth just to conform it was indeed very carnivorous!

We have this information for easer reference in the table below as well.

Table 1: Size of Meraxes gigas.

DinosaurLength Height at HipsWeight When it Lived (mya)
Meraxes Gigas10-11 meters (33-38 feet)3 metres (9 feet) 4000+ kg (8800 lbs.) 95-93 mya

Length of Meraxes gigas.

The length of Meraxes gigas is estimated between 10 and 11.5 meters (33 to 38 feet) although it has also been estimated at 30-33 feet as we mentioned above as well. it makes it a large dinosaur when when compared to most other carnivores of its time, when compared to other theropods ( which we do below) and considerably larger and heavier than other well known theropods like Allosaurus and Carnotaurus, and only slightly smaller than others like T-Rex.

Height of Meraxes gigas.

Meraxes gigas stood about 3 meters (9 feet) tall at the hip, which is where most dinosaurs are measured from in terms of height. It would have been taller when it raised its head of course,

It would have been shorter than other, perhaps more famous, theropods like T-Rex and Giganotosaurus, but it was still a pretty tall and impressive dinosaur.

Weight of Meraxes gigas.

Estimating the weight of Meraxes gigas is still in its early stages as it is a very newly discovered dinosaur and weights are always disputed, and have multiple estimates. ( Ankylosaurus for example has a range form 10 to 30000 lbs.!)

However the current weight of Meraxes gigas is generally estimated to be around 4000 kg (8800 lbs.). So currently about half the weight of its large cousins. though again this is a very new dinosaur so we expect this to change.

What were the largest meat eating Dinosaurs

How Big was Meraxes gigas compared to other dinosaurs.

Although we have, perhaps unfairly, held the size of Meraxes gigas up against the giants of carnivore dinosaurs, there are plenty that it was bigger than and you can take a look at the provided table below to see how it fits into the “size rankings” of some other carnivores.

Table 1: Size Comparison between Meraxes gigas and other predatory dinosaurs.

DinosaurLength (m/f)Height at Hips (m/f)Weight (kg/lbs)When it Lived (mya)
Meraxes Gigas10-11 meters (33-38 feet)3 metres (9 feet) 4000+ kg (8800 lbs.) 95-93 mya
Carnotaurus7-8 meters 22-24 feet) 2.5 – 3 meters (6.5 to 9 feet) 1,350 2,000 kg (2866 – 4409 lbs) 71-69 mya
Tarbosaurus9-10 metres
(30-33 feet)
3 metres
(9 feet)
4-5000 Kg
8800-11,000 lbs.
70 mya
T-Rex12.3-13.5 metres (39 – 43 feet)4 meters (12-14 feet) 7-9000 kg (15-19,000 lbs) 68-66 mya
Allosaurus8-11 metres (26- 36 feet) 3 + meters (9-10 feet) up to 3,000 kg (6600 lbs) 155-145 mya
Baryonyx7.5-10 (24 – 31 feet) 2.5-3 meters (8-10 feet) 1-1,700 kg (2200 – 3700 lbs) 130-125 mya
Giganotosaurus12-13.2 metres ( 39 – 43 feet) 4-4.5 meters (12 14+ feet) 6.2-8,000 kg (13,227 – 17,600 lbs) 99-97 mya

So from the data in the table above you can see Meraxes gigas occupied a middle ground between the giants like T-Rex and the Middle ground like carnotaurus. it would have been similar to a Tarbosaurus in weight and perhaps a little longer.

How Do We Know the Size of Meraxes gigas?

Meraxes gigas is known only from the current fossil discoveries, and these are actually pretty complete ( the most complete of any species of carcharodontosaurid in the area!) they have found fossils of its head, pelvis, chest, forelimbs, complete legs, ribs, and Back bones.

From these remains, scientists have been able to estimate the size and weight of this large predator using a few different methods. ( we discuss these methods in our other “How Big” articles listed below as well.

Meraxes gigas Bone Measuring

One way to estimate the size of Meraxes gigas 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 and with so many being complete or there abouts this makes it easier.

Compare to other dinosaurs and animals

Another way to estimate the size is by comparing its fossils to those of other closely related dinosaurs, in this case those like giganotosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus. By comparing the sizes of their bones and teeth, scientists can make educated guesses about how big Meraxes gigas may have been.

Computer modelling

In addition to bone measurements and the comparisons, computer modeling can also be used to estimate the size of Meraxes gigas. When the data is put into the computer it 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.

What does Meraxes gigas name mean?

Although Meraxes gigas was initially given a temporary name of the “Campanas carcharodontosaurid” if there was any doubt about how newly discovered this carnivore is then the origin of its name helps to dispel that. When it was described in 2022 its name was taken from popular culture, specifically the Game of Thrones TV and Novel series. A song of fire and Ice.

Which, even if you have never seen or read it can probably work out contains dragons. One of these was called Meraxes.

Gigas, as most dinosaur fans know means giant in Greek. So we have Meraxes giant!

I am still waiting for Smaug from Lord of the Rings to be used for a dinosaur name though!

Meraxes Gigas Compared to Modern Day Animals

To give you some idea on how large Meraxes gigas actually was we have compared it to some more common animals you can see alive today. it is sometimes easier to imagine something when you can actually see it!

  • African Elephant: 2.5-4 meters (8-13 feet) tall at the shoulder and up to 12,000 kg (26,000 lbs) in weight.
  • Elephant Seal: up to 6 Metres (20ft) and up to 4000 kg (9000 lbs.)
  • White Rhinoceros: 1.5-1.85 meters (5-6 feet) tall at the shoulder and up to 2,300 kg (5,000 lbs) in weight.
  • Saltwater Crocodile: 6 meters (20 feet) in length and up to 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs) in weight.

We have a series of articles on How Big Dinosaurs were, including sauropods and carnivores, and you can follow the links below to check out the size of other popular dinosaurs. We are expanding this section on a regular basis.

How Big was AllosaurusHow Big was T-RexHow Big was PterodactylHow Big was Triceratops
How Big was StegosaurusHow Big was AmphicoeliasHow Big were Dinosaur BabiesHow big was Spinosaurus
How Big were dinosaur eggsHow Big was a ParasaurolophusHow Big was CarnotaurusHow Big Was Giganotosaurus
How big was DilophosaurusHow Big was ArgentinosaurusHow big was VelociraptorHow big was Brachiosaurus
How Big was AnkylosaurusHow big was CarcharodontosaurusHow big was therizinosaurusHow big was Ceratosaurus
How big was KronosaurusHow big was Meraxes gigasHow big was MosasaurusHow big was Megalodon


Meraxes gigas is the newest addition to the already impressive large ( in all senses of the word) list of carnivorous dinosaurs we have discovered so far.

  • it might no be the biggest despite being big,
  • it might not be the longest despite being long,
  • and it might not be the heaviest despite being heavy,

but it shows that there are still plenty of dinosaur treasures to be unearthed as long as we keep on looking for them. and if you are one of those who went to work in paleontology after watching Jurassic Park all those years ago, who knows it might be you who brings the next dinosaur to the world!


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