Fun Aucasaurus Facts For Kidssalta

Oluniyi Akande
Jan 20, 2023 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Oct 07, 2021
Edited by Christina Harrison
The Aucasaurus is an Abelisaurid Theropod that was discovered in the late Cretaceous era of the Anacleto formation in Argentina

The Aucasaurus is an Abelisaurid Theropod that was discovered in the late Cretaceous era of the Anacleto formation in Argentina. This dinosaur is so well understood that it has been considered the most complete Abelisaurid described. The only other Abelisaurid known at the time was the Carnotaurus and both belonged to the same formation and temporal range.

Its size and weight are not too impressive but this dinosaur is big enough to be dangerous especially in packs, which was their preferred mode of hunting. They would use numbers to bring down much larger prey.

The skull of the Aucasaurus holotype remains of this fossil is damaged which caused some paleontologists to conclude that it may have been in a fight or an altercation with what was probably another larger dinosaur and got its skull crushed which was the reason for its death.

This scene is depicted in a TV show called Dinosaur Planet in which a dinosaur of this species gets its skull crushed by a Saltasaurus when it falls over as it's being attacked. Even though the skull has been crushed, scientists have still been able to reconstruct and study the braincase of this dinosaur with some detail.

If you want to know more about the discovery and features of other dinosaur genera, check out the Lexovisaurus and the Dromiceiomimus.

Aucasaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Aucasaurus'?

The word Aucasaurus, which means Auca lizard, is pronounced 'Aw-cah-sore-us', and the name was given by Coria, Dingus, and Chiappe.

What type of dinosaur was an Aucasaurus?

This medium-sized dinosaur belonged to the clade of Theropoda under the Abelisauridae family and the superorder of Reptiliomorpha, and was closely related to the Carnotaurus based on its features and classification.

In which geological period did the Aucasaurus roam the Earth?

Based on the Aucasaurus skeleton, this Theropod is known to have lived during the Santonian- Campanian era of the late Cretaceous period.

When did the Aucasaurus become extinct?

The discovery of this dinosaur proves that it went extinct during the late Cretaceous period, approximately 85-80 million years ago.

Where did an Aucasaurus live?

These dinosaurs lived in the late Cretaceous stage of the Anacleto formation in the Patagonia region of Argentina in South America.

What was an Aucasaurus' habitat?

This Therapoda dinosaur was quite ubiquitous and found across most habitats, but preferred forest terrain.

Who did an Aucasaurus live with?

Being a pack hunter was one of the prime features of this Abelisaurid and they would use strength in numbers to overwhelm larger prey as well as keep predators at bay.

How long did an Aucasaurus live?

Lifespan information of this dinosaur is unavailable.

How did they reproduce?

Although features of their reproduction system have not been discussed, it is known that they were oviparous.

Aucasaurus Fun Facts

What did an Aucasaurus look like?

The Aucasaurus skull was short in length and deep-snouted but not as deep as others from its class like the Carnotaurus. They differed from regular Theropod skulls slightly as the front of the snout was blunt rather than being tapered.

This was due to them having a tall premaxilla. The lacrimal and postorbital bones met above the eye socket to form a ridge that was quite visible.

It was a biped with slender hind legs of which the tibia was shorter than the femur, making the legs look stocky and disproportionate. The foot had four digits.

The second, third and fourth were primarily used while the first did not touch the ground. Their arms were practically useless as they were very small and ended in four fingers, two of which were completely immobile.

Not having a wrist bone meant that the hand did not have much mobility either way. They did not possess claws either.

The Aucasaurus size was considered medium and this dinosaur had a short head, tiny arms, and strong legs.

How many bones did an Aucasaurus have?

The medium-sized Aucasaurus or Auca lizard is known as an almost complete skeleton up to the 13th vertebra which is missing only the end of the tail.

The only other drawback is that the skull is crushed which leads paleontologists to believe that this dinosaur was in a fight before its death and died of head trauma before it got converted to a fossil.

Although the complete bone structure has been discovered, the number of bones in the Aucasaurus is unknown.

How did they communicate?

The method of communication for this Abelisaurid has not been uncovered.

How big was an Aucasaurus?

The Aucasaurus was a medium-sized dinosaur. It could grow up to 20 ft (6.1 m) in length, which is around three times that of a giant panda bear, and an estimated 6 ft (1.8 m) in height, almost like the elk.

They also didn't have oversized bodies and were relatively slender. Their skulls were big for their bodies and made them look bigger than they were. They are considered comparable in weight to a Skorpiovenator.

How fast could an Aucasaurus move?

The Aucasaurus is described as quite a speedy Theropod but not quite as agile as other members of the family. It was capable of chasing prey at high speeds, but exact numbers of its top speed have remained unknown.

How much did an Aucasaurus weigh?

This dinosaur was first incorrectly weighed at 1,540 lb (700 kg) but this was later corrected to a weight which was around the same as a yak at 3,000 lb (1360 kg), due to more remains being found, giving paleontologists more empirical evidence.

What were the male and female names of the species?

The male and female of the species have not been assigned gender-specific names and are just called Aucasaurus which means Auca lizard.

What would you call a baby Aucasaurus?

The young of this Theropod do not have any specific names but can be referred to as juveniles of the species.

What did they eat?

Paleontologists agree that dinosaurs of this genus were pure carnivores like tigers and some even speculate that they were scavengers. They would hunt in packs and therefore most likely hunted bigger prey like Sauropods such as the Saltasaurus.

How aggressive were they?

Even though these dinosaurs were not too large by dinosaur standard, they were never too far from their packs which were their strength. That combined with the fact that they were carnivores showed that they could get sufficiently aggressive if they needed to.

Did you know...

This family of dinosaurs is one of the most geographically widespread species of carnivores with at least one or two from the family being found in almost every region of the world.

Abelisaurids have been shown to have existed before, during, and after the breakup of Gondwanaland into its separate islands and continents.

Who discovered the Aucasaurus?

Most of the fossils of this Abelisaurid were found in the Rio Colorado subgroup which is a part of the Anacleto formation which is located in the Neuquen Basin of present-day Argentina in South America which has been a source for a multitude of fossils.

It was found by Coria, Chiappe, and Dingus who named it the Aucasaurus garridoi, after which Gregory Paul suggested the Abelisaurus garridoi as a synonymous name for the dinosaur.

Ceratosaurus vs. Aucasaurus

The discovery of the Ceratosaurus occurred before the Aucasaurus but they were found to be closely related to Theropods even though the area of them being found was extremely far apart.

This also has a lot to do with the fact that they were both early dinosaurs and most probably lived together in Southern Gondwana which has separated into Africa, India, and Eurasia, all of which contain fossils of both these dinosaurs.

They were considered to be closely related due to their skulls being more or less the same shape with similar features like a horny ridge under the eyes for both.

The only difference in their skulls is that teeth of the Ceratosaurus were very long, being almost the longest teeth for a dinosaur of that size and class which were sharp and jagged whereas the Aucasaurus had short, shielded teeth which were covered by a tooth crown.

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 Parvicursor facts and Wuerhosaurus facts for kids.

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


Image one by Conty.

Image two by Paleocolour.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

Oluniyi Akande picture

Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

Read full bio >