The Mapusarus was a huge Carcharodontosaurid carnosaurian dinosaur from the early Late Cretaceous period. It belonged to the phylum Chordata, the family Carcharodontosauridae, and the tribe Giganotosaurini. It was discovered all at once at an excavation in South America in 1995. The bones of different Mapusaurus dinosaurs were discovered together of different age groups and this acts as evidence of the herding and social behavior of this dinosaur. They might have hunted together in a small pack to catch huge dinosaurs like the Titanosaurus that inhabited the same area. According to the study of their teeth, it has come to light that these dinosaurs might have preyed on large dinosaurs like the Argentinosaurus. A paleontologist, Philip Currie from the University of Alberta, said that the Mapusaurus might be the biggest carnivorous dinosaur in history. They were bigger than the Tyrannosaurus.
The pronunciation of this large theropod is 'Mah-puh-sore-us'. The word Mapusaurus was derived from the word Mapuche word 'Mapu' which means 'of the Earth' or 'of the land' and the Greek word 'saurus', meaning 'lizard.'
The Mapusaurus was a large theropod which means 'beast footed'. Theropoda is a dinosaur clade, and the dinosaurs belonging to that clade are called theropods. Theropoda contains all the flesh-eating dinosaurs.
The Mapusaurus used to live in the early Late Cretaceous period which was about 97-93 million years ago, between the late Cenomanian to early Turonian age. Some theropods even lived 234 million years ago.
The exact data of their extinction is not clear yet, but they are believed to have gone extinct 66 million years ago.
The Maspusaurus inhabited the woodlands of Argentina, particularly the Huincul Formation. Apart from here, the fossil was also found in Chile.
This dinosaur of the early Late Cretaceous period was a terrestrial animal and mainly inhabited the woodlands of South America. Apart from that, terrains of grasslands, shrublands, scrublands, small forests, and semi-arid regions are some other habitats where the fossil of this dinosaur has been found.
By their social nature, they were quite active and sociable. They used to form small to medium packs to hunt some larger fleshy dinosaurs like the Argentinosaurus for their diet. The Mapusaurus was a member of the pack Carcharadontosauridae which mostly had large dinosaurs so that their combined power could allow them to fight even the huge Tyrannosaurus rex.
The Mapusaurus was assumed to have lived 100 million years (Cenomanian of the Cretaceous).
The information about their reproduction has not been discovered yet by scientists. These theropods were oviparous. Usually, more than one male used to approach a female for mating after performing some ritual. The skin color of dinosaurs, their hairlike filaments, feathers, and some nonskeletal elements were used as sexual displays to attract females for mating as has been interpreted by their fossils.
The Mapusaurus was a theropod and is considered to be one of the biggest and most dangerous dinosaurs in the theropod category. The fossil bone of this giant lizard found was from 100 million years ago, which interprets that this was the biggest flesh-eating dinosaur in history. The excavation was done by Coria and Currie from the Museo Carmen Funes. These dinosaurs used to hunt in packs which made them even more dangerous. It is believed that their bone bed might have formed because of flash floods.
The number of bones a Mapusaurus skeleton had is tough to determine as there has been almost no complete skeleton found to date. The Mapusaurus bone bed was found at Canadon del Gato. The monospecific bone bed was found in Neuquen Province, Argentina. However, in some places, the bone bed is poorly preserved.
There is not much information found by paleontologists available on the communication ways of this dinosaur.
The body length of this flesh-eating dinosaur was 32.8-39.37 ft (10-12 m). Rodolfo Coria and Currie and from the Museo Carmen Funes in Argentina said it's very hard to find the exact length as almost no skeleton found of this species was complete.
The pointed slim tail of the Mapusaurus used to give this dinosaur a fair balance and ability to run quickly. It would have been agile. Various paleontologists said that the Mapusaurus could attain a speed of 30 mph (48.28 kph). The relative species of Giganotosaurus used to run up to 31.3 mph (50.4 kph). Another close species, Tyrannosaurus rex, used to attain a speed of 30 mph (48 kph) and was considered an active runner.
The weight of this long-tailed Mapusaurus (Mapusaurus roseae) was 3.3-5.5 tons ( 2721.55- 4989.52 kg).
There are no specific names for the male and the female of this dinosaur species of North America Mapusaurus (Mapusaurus roseae). Their sexual dimorphism is almost impossible to figure out.
A baby of this herbivore dinosaur species does not have any particular name. They are called baby Mapusaurus dinosaurs.
These dinosaurs were carnivores and used to form packs to hunt their prey, be it small animals or large carnivore dinosaurs. Even some large herbivore dinosaurs used to fear Mapusaurus. One of the most eaten dinosaurs in its diet according to the discovered fossils, was the Argentinosaurus.
This furious meat-eater dinosaur can be considered a furious dinosaur as it was also the biggest. These earth lizards used to hunt down and kill the Argentinosaurus and also there are instances when they got into a battle with the Tyrannosaurus rex, which was almost the same size and was also considered as one of the most ferocious carnivore dinosaurs ever.
The name Mapusaurus means 'earth lizard'.
The Mapusaurus dinosaur was discovered between 1997-2001 during the Argentinian-Canadian Dinosaur Project, through the exposure of Huincul Formation (Rio Limay Subgroup, Cenomanian). Rodolfo Coria and Phil Currie described and gave its name in 2006.
Mapusaurus vs. T rex: The Mapusaurus had a very light, narrow, and long skull which was not as strong and powerful as that of a Tyrannosaurus rex skull. Though the Mapusaurus had more teeth in its jaw, they were thinner and narrower than the Tyrannosaurus rex’s teeth. The bite of a Tyrannosaurus rex was much more fatal than that of a Mapusaurus, even though the former’s teeth were sharper. The Tyrannosaurus rex was also smaller in size than the Mapusaurus.
Mapusaurus vs Giganotosaurus: The Giganotosaurus and Mapusaurus were very similar to each other but the Mapusaurus size was bigger by a small margin than the Giganotosaurus. The Mapusaurus had just three bones, and all of them were bigger than those of the Giganotosaurus. The skull of a Giganotosaurus was slimmer, but the weight was slightly more. The body build of the Mapusaurus was better.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs from our Kelmayisaurus facts pages and Utahraptor facts pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Mapusaurus coloring pages.