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Re: the largest carnivores



At 11:20 AM 1/5/97 +1030, you wrote:
>I know that T-rex is no longer the largest carnivorous dinosaur known,
>I've heard of two other species recently found in South America and
>Africa that are larger.  But, I don't remember the names.  Does anyone
>remember?  What are the scientific references?

Giganotosaurus carolinii was named by Coria and Salgado in 1995, in a
summer issue of the journal Nature (sorry, I've been reorganizing the office
and can't find the ref right now).

Carcharodontosaurus saharicus is a close relative, first named long ago
based on limited material, now known from a fairly good skull.  The new
material was described by Sereno and colleagues in a spring 1996 issue of
the journal Science.  Hopefully, someone will post the rest of the
bibliographic data to you shortly.

Both seem to be about 5-10% larger than the largest specimen of T. rex (the
specimen nicknamed "Sue"), but neither is known from complete material
(although Giganotosaurus is getting close to complete!).

Both are from the middle of the Cretaceous (Cenomanian stage), and thus
lived tens of millions of years before Tyrannosaurus, which lived at the
very end of the last stage (Maastrichtian) of the Cretaceous.

The Huincul Member of the Rio Limay
Formation is stratigraphically above that which contains Giganotosaurus,
Andesaurus, and Rebbachisaurus.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661

"To trace that life in its manifold changes through past ages to the present
is a ... difficult task, but one from which modern science does not shrink.
In this wide field, every earnest effort will meet with some degree of
success; every year will add new and important facts; and every generation
will bring to light some law, in accordance with which ancient life has been
changed into life as we see it around us to-day."
        --O.C. Marsh, Vice Presidential Address, AAAS, August 30, 1877