Fun Carcharodontosaurus Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Nov 22, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Carcharodontosaurus facts are about a dinosaur with a large head and tail.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.1 Min

Carcharodontosaurus is a theropod dinosaur of North Africa, belonging to the family Carcharodontosauridae. There are two species classified under this group of dinosaurs; Carcharodontosaurus saharicus and Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis. The former was initially called Megalosaurus saharicus by Charles Depéret and J. Savornin before it was renamed by Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach. Unfortunately, the holotype fossils of Carcharodontosaurus were destroyed in World War II. In 1995, paleontologist Paul Sereno found more complete fossil remains, including skull and teeth, which became the perfect replacement for the destroyed holotype. Paul Sereno was also one of the founders of C. iguidensis fossils.

These dinosaurs roamed the Earth nearly 100 million years ago and were carnivores. Their gigantic head and body, along with sharp shark-like teeth have made them quite exceptional. The estimated length of Carcharodontosaurus is between 39-44 ft (11.8-13.4 m). Being a carnivore, this dinosaur preyed on herbivorous dinosaurs, including large sauropods. They shared their habitat with dinosaurs like the Sarcosuchus and may have gotten in territorial battles with them. Continued research into Carcharodontosaurus, including the workings of its brain and nervous system, is providing a better insight into this species.

To learn more about Carcharodontosaurus, keep reading! You can also check out Sinornithosaurus and Irritator facts for more.

Carcharodontosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Carcharodontosaurus '?

'Carcharodontosaurus' is pronounced as 'kahr-KAR-o-DON-to-SAW-us'.

What type of dinosaur was a Carcharodontosaurus?

Carcharodontosaurus was a theropod dinosaur of North Africa. This dinosaur was initially called Megalosaurus saharicus by Charles Depéret and J. Savornin in 1925. Later, in the year 1931, Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach established a new genus by the name of 'Carcharodontosaurus' under which this theropod dinosaur was placed.

In which geological period did the Carcharodontosaurus roam the earth?

Carcharodontosaurus roamed the Earth during the Cenomanian stage of the Late Cretaceous period. This age occurred 93-100 million years ago.

When did the Carcharodontosaurus become extinct?

These dinosaurs probably became extinct during the Turonian Age, which took place right after the Cenomanian of Late Cretaceous. This extinction may have been caused by habitat loss due to rising sea levels in North Africa during that time.

Where did a Carcharodontosaurus live?

The fossil remains of Carcharodontosaurus were discovered from North Africa. It included places like Algeria, Egypt, Niger, and Morocco. Hence, it can be assumed that this dinosaur was native and endemic to the north of the African continent.

What was a Carcharodontosaurus habitat?

During the Late Cretaceous, 93-100 million years ago, when the Carcharodontosaurus lived in north Africa, the weather was much warmer than that of today. Additionally, the habitat of the regions inhabited by these dinosaurs is said to have been covered in ample vegetation, with considerable lakes and rivers.

Who did a Carcharodontosaurus live with?

It has been assumed that the Carcharodontosaurus dinosaurs may have lived and hunted in packs. However, this is yet to be proven.

How long did a Carcharodontosaurus live?

The average lifespan of this African dinosaur is estimated to be around 35 years.

How did they reproduce?

These carnivores were oviparous in nature, and hence, the female reproduced by laying eggs. Due to a lack of fossil remains, the reproductive structures or habits of Carcharodontosaurus have not yet been established. However, like other theropods, these dinosaurs took part in mating, which probably resulted in internal fertilization. Subsequently, the eggs were laid in nests.

Carcharodontosaurus Fun Facts

What did a Carcharodontosaurus look like?

The physical attributes of this fearsome carnivorous dinosaur are undoubtedly fascinating.

C. saharicus and C. iguidensis were huge in size and like other theropods were bipedal in nature. Hence, their forelimbs were significantly shorter than their hindlimbs. Their hands were three-fingered and provided with sharp claws. Additionally, besides having a giant body, this carcharodontosaurid had a huge tail, as well. The fossil remains of the bones led paleontologists to discover that members of the Carcharodontosaurus group had heavy bones.

However, the most interesting feature of Carcharodontosaurus is related to its head and skull, which were giant in size. The length of the skull of the type species C. saharicus was measured to be between 4.7-5.2 ft (1.4-1.5 m). The jaws of this dinosaur were massive in appearance, as observed from the fossils. Additionally, each Carcharodontosaurus tooth was 8 in (20.3 cm) in length. The long serrated shark-like teeth led to the nomenclature of this African carcharodontosaurid. This is because the genus of this dinosaur was named after the Carcharodon genus of sharks.

The Carcharodontosaurus holotype specimen was destroyed in World War II.

How many bones did a Carcharodontosaurus have?

A complete fossilized skeleton of Carcharodontosaurus has to be discovered before an estimate on the total number of bones possessed by these dinosaurs can be made by paleontologists. To date, for both the species, namely C. saharicus and C. iguidensis, skull, vertebral elements, and long serrated teeth have been discovered. Additionally, for C. saharicus, fossils of some leg, hip, and claw bones have also been found.

How did they communicate?

The exact patterns of communication are yet to be ascertained in the Carcharodontosaurus dinosaur. However, researchers have postulated that most theropods communicated through closed-mouth vocalizations and various display ceremonies. So, a similar communication pattern may have been used by this apex predator.

How big was a Carcharodontosaurus?

Carcharodontosaurus saharicus was a huge theropod dinosaur, with a length between 39-44 ft (11.8-13.4 m), and a height of 12 ft (3.6 m) till the hip. The fossils belonging to Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis have led its length to be estimated at 33 ft (10 m). These dimensions prove that these dinosaurs were one of the largest animals to roam the Earth during the Late Cretaceous period. The Giganotosaurus vs. Carcharodontosaurus size is comparable, as the length of Giganotosaurus has been estimated to be between 40-43 ft (12-13 m). However, Giganotosaurus might be more popular than Carcharodontosaurus due to more complete fossil remains.

How fast could a Carcharodontosaurus move?

Carcharodontosaurus was remarkably fast despite its size. The estimated speed of this animal is 20 mph (32 kph).

How much did a Carcharodontosaurus weigh?

The weight of Carcharodontosaurus saharicus has been theorized to have been between 6.6-16.5 ton (6000-15000 kg). C. iguidensis, was smaller in size and may have had a weight of 4.4 ton (3991 kg).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no separate names assigned for the male and female dinosaurs of this species.

What would you call a baby Carcharodontosaurus?

A baby Carcharodontosaurus would be known as a hatchling.

What did they eat?

Both the species of Carcharodontosaurus were carnivores, evident by their shark-like dental remains. The size of these dinosaurs allowed them to prey on large herbivorous sauropods and other smaller dinosaurs. It has been hypothesized that as a predator, Carcharodonotosaurus was able to lift animals with a bodyweight of nearly 935 lb (424 kg). It may also have shown scavenger behavior.

How aggressive were they?

As an apex predator, this carcharodontosaurid dinosaur surely showed a lot of aggression. Interestingly, during the Late Cretaceous, the Carcharodontosaurus dinosaurs shared their habitat with members of the Spinosaurus and Sarcosuchus genera. Hence, it is highly likely that these dinosaurs engaged in aggressive and vicious fights over their territory and food resources. Needless to say, a Carcharodontosaurus vs. Spinosaurus battle would be a spectacular sight.

Did you know...

The brain of Carcharodontosaurus has been well studied by scientists, and this has revealed quite a few facts about the intelligence of the animal. It had a relatively small braincase in comparison to others, like, Tyrannosaurus rex. It has been postulated that the brain of the T. rex was 150% bigger than that of the Carcharodontosaurus. However, Carcharodontosaurus had a large optic nerve, which aided them with a highly acute sense of vision.

The special epithet 'saharicus' was given to Carcharodontosaurus by Charles Depéret and J. Savornin to mark the site of its discovery in the Saharan region of Africa.

How many teeth does a Carcharodontosaurus have?

The Carcharodontosaurus dinosaur teeth are its most fascinating feature. This animal had around 32 teeth in its jaws. The description of the teeth proves why this species was a top predator. Each tooth was 8 in (20.3 cm) long, and highly serrated, almost resembling a dagger. The sharp teeth of Carcharodontosaraus are often compared to the teeth of great white sharks. This is how the genus name 'Carcharodontosaurus' came to be, as it was derived from the genus of 'Carcharodon', to which the great white shark of present-day belongs.

Was Carcharodontosaurus bigger than T Rex?

For the longest time, Tyrannosaurus rex was considered to be the largest theropod. However, the discovery of Carcharodontosaurus dinosaur fossils has led to a different possible conclusion. While the length of a T. rex is estimated to have been about 40 ft (12 m), members of the genus Carcharodontosaurs could possibly grow to a length of 44 ft (13.4 m). However, this research is ongoing, and more fossils of Carcharodontosaurs would be required to better compare these two dinosaurs.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Agujaceratops facts and Sinocalliopteryx fun facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable God Made Dinosaurs coloring pages.

*The first image is by Fred Wierum.

*The second image is by Yoshikazu Takada from Tokyo, Japan.

Carcharodontosaurus Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Herbivorous dinosaurs

what Type of Animal were they?

Carnivore

Average Litter Size?

N/A

What Did They Look Like?

Huge skull with serrated teeth, giant body, and a long tail

How Much Did They Weigh?

6.6-16.5 ton (6000-15000 kg)

Skin Type

Scales

How Long Were They?

39-44 ft (11.8-13.4 m)

How Tall Were They?

2 ft (3.6 m)

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Reptilia

Genus

Carcharodontosaurus

Family

Carcharodontosauridae

Scientific Name

Carcharodontosaurus saharicus (Type species) Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Terrestrial

Where Did They Live?

North Africa
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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