Carcharodontosaurus (Shark toothed lizard)
Ernst Stromer - 1931
Estimated 12-15 meters long
C. saharicus (type). C. iguidensis
Algeria – Continental Intercalaire Formation, Brazil – Alcântara Formation?, Egypt – Baharîje Formation, Mut Formation, Morocco – Aoufous Formation, Kem Kem Formation, Niger – Continental Intercalaire Formation, Echkar Formation, Elrhaz Formation, and Tunisia – Chenini Formation, Continental Intercalaire Formation
Late Cretaceous, 100-93 million years ago
Carcharodontosaurus was a large predatory dinosaur that lived during the middle to late Cretaceous period, approximately 100-93 million years ago. It was one of the largest theropod dinosaurs that lived during that time and was the top predator in its ecosystem. Its name, “Carcharodontosaurus”, literally means “shark-toothed lizard” due to its large, blade-like teeth that were similar in shape to those of the great white shark.
The most complete skeleton of Carcharodontosaurus was discovered in Morocco and was estimated to be about 42 feet long, with a weight of about 8.8 tons. It was a bipedal dinosaur, which means it walked on two legs, and it had large, powerful hind limbs that were used to chase down its prey. It had a long, narrow skull that housed its massive teeth and powerful jaws, making it a formidable predator.
Carcharodontosaurus had a wide geographic range and is known from fossils found in Africa, South America, and Europe, which suggests that it was able to migrate across the ancient landmass of Gondwana. Some scientists have suggested that it was an opportunistic feeder and ate a variety of prey, including large dinosaurs such as sauropods, as well as other reptiles and small mammals.
Despite its fearsome reputation as a top predator, Carcharodontosaurus was eventually outcompeted by the even larger and more powerful Spinosaurus, which lived in the same region. Nevertheless, Carcharodontosaurus remains one of the most iconic and well-studied large predatory dinosaurs, and continues to captivate the imagination of scientists and the general public alike.