Fun Gigantoraptor Facts For Kids | Kidadl

Fun Gigantoraptor Facts For Kids

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Around 70 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous, the Gigantoraptor roamed the Earth that was much larger in size than their relatives. Xu Xing and others rendered the first formal identification to this theropod. They inhabited a river valley surrounded by floodplains, which are now known as the Iren Dabasu Formation of Inner Mongolia. Several skeletal remains were also found at the Erlian Basin of the Gobi Desert in north-central China. The holotype of a young adult Gigantoraptor that was discovered at these sites suggested that they were bipedal with a toothless beak, an enormous body, a long neck, and a tail. Paleontologists are yet to make up their minds regarding the type of skin they had; whether feathers or partially naked skin was typical to this unnaturally enormous oviraptor. Detailed information regarding its reproductive behavior, communication pattern, and social lifestyle could not be furnished due to the dearth of substantial data.

Keep reading to discover more facts about the Gigantoraptor! If you like this article, do not forget to check out Chirostenotes and Utahraptor to discover and learn various lesser-known facts about them.

Fun Gigantoraptor Facts For Kids

What did they prey on?

Small animals

What did they eat?


Average litter size?

2 eggs

How much did they weigh?

3086.5 lb (1400 kg) approximately

How long were they?

26 ft (8 m)

How tall were they?

16 ft (5 m)

What did they look like?

Bipedal with a toothless beak, an enormous body, a long neck, and a short tail

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Natural disasters

Where were they found?



Erlian Basin of the Gobi Desert in north-central China, Asia









Scientific Name

Gigantoraptor erlianensis

How scary were they?


How loud were they?


How intelligent were they?


Gigantoraptor Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Gigantoraptor'?

The name 'Gigantoraptor' consists of five syllables that when pronounced together sound like 'dzai-gan-toe-rap-tor'.

What type of dinosaur was a Gigantoraptor?

A Gigantoraptor erlianensis (Xu et al) belongs to the animal kingdom of phylum Chordata, class Sauropsida, family Caenagnathidae, and genus Gigantoraptor and is not technically a raptor. At the very beginning, the type specimen revealed the giant size of this theropod made researchers believe that it belonged to the Tyrannosaur lineage. However, further analyses of the discovered beak, legs, and other bones debunked the previous claim and reclassified them as a basal oviraptorid (Oviraptorosauria). Currently, they are believed to be conspecific to the Caenagnathid family.

In which geological period did the Gigantoraptor roam the earth?

It is estimated that the Gigantoraptor roamed the earth nearly 65-70 million years ago. This time frame witnessed the Late Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic Era.

When did the Gigantoraptor become extinct?

Approximately 66 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous, the Earth witnessed the K/T meteor impact (a 22 lb (10 kg) asteroid that hit the Earth) which led to sudden mass extinction. It is very likely that the existence of this dinosaur was also eradicated since nearly three-quarters of earthly plants and animals failed to survive the blow. Apart from this, several other natural disasters especially volcanic eruptions and global warming were also perhaps major contributing factors for its extinction.

Where did a Gigantoraptor live?

An excavation by Xu Xing at what is now the Erlian Basin of the Gobi Desert in north-central China discovered the existence of Gigantoraptor here as several fossil remains were unearthed from this location. However, another group of paleontologists believes that they inhabited the Iren Dabasu Formation of Inner Mongolia since numerous fossil remains of this dinosaur were discovered at this location in 2005. Another expedition to North America led to the discovery of Macroelongatoolithus or oviraptorosaur eggs that indicates the presence of gigantoraptors in this continent as well. However, this assumption is too far-stretched as no skeletal remains were recovered at that location.

What was a Gigantoraptor's habitat?

Two groups of paleontologists differ on the exact location that this animal inhabited. Not much is known about the region in north-central China which is now the Erlian Basin of the Gobi Desert. However, it is known that the Iren Dabasu Formation of Inner Mongolia used to be a river valley encompassed by floodplains. The moist and humid climate of this region along with heavy vegetation was ideal for the survival of this enormous omnivorous creature.

Who did a Gigantoraptor live with?

Due to the dearth of substantial evidence, it is uncertain whether the Gigantoraptor was a social or solitary creature. Hence, assumptions regarding their social lifestyle may not be relevant.

How long did a Gigantoraptor live?

The accurate longevity of this theropod is unknown. However, the fossil specimens that were discovered were the skeleton of a young adult. Studies show that it had reached sexual maturity at the age of seven and was eventually faced with death at 11. From this discovery, it can be assumed that in comparison to other theropods, they grew at a fairly fast rate and probably had a lifespan of not more than 70-80 years which is the average longevity of dinosaurs.

How did they reproduce?

Not much information regarding the breeding season, method of copulation, the longevity of the incubation period, and other reproductive aspects that are unique to these large animals is available. However, it is known that dinosaurs (including this one) were oviparous and reproduced by laying eggs. The discovery of oviraptorosaurian eggs or Macroelongatoolithus suggests that female oviraptorosaurs laid their eggs in a circular format inside their nests with an empty center. It is assumed that animals as enormous as the Gigantoraptor sat at the center of the nest during incubation and used feathers to cover the eggs to prevent the eggs from crushing.

Gigantoraptor Fun Facts

What did a Gigantoraptor look like?

The single specimen of a young adult Gigantoraptor indeed shed some light on the physical appearance of this animal. Considering the size of this giant oviraptor, it is believed that it was the largest bird-like theropod that ever existed. Xu et al suggested that it had a 19.68 in (0.5 m) small skull with a toothless, strong beak and a long neck. Long, slender legs accompanied by a short tail helped it to keep balance. A long femur with strong feet and sharp, elongated claws helped it in fast locomotion. It is uncertain whether this bird-like animal's body was covered with feathers like its smaller relatives or had partially naked skin. However, it is likely that it had feathers on its forearms and neck region.

Gigantoraptor facts are all about the avian dinosaurs of China.

How many bones did a Gigantoraptor have?

The retrieved fossilized parts that belonged to a young adult Gigantoraptor of age 11 include a nearly complete mandible (lower jaw), a partial isolated cervical vertebra (neck), dorsal vertebrae and caudal vertebrae (spinal cord), right scapula, right humerus, right radius and ulna, nearly complete right manus, partial ilium with a nearly complete pubis, a short tail, sharp claws, and hindlimbs, including both femur, tibia and fibula with a very complete pes. However, the total number of bones that composed the entire skeletal system of this extinct theropod is not known.

How did they communicate?

It is believed that the primary mode of communication in dinosaurs involved vocal and visual cues. Unfortunately, the communication pattern unique to these dinosaurs is unknown.

How big was a Gigantoraptor?

The Gigantoraptor size was enormous, measured around 26 ft (8 m) in length and 16 ft (5 m) in height. These oviraptors are considered to be the largest birdlike dinosaurs that ever existed. They beat the former largest oviraptosaurian Citipati.

How fast could a Gigantoraptor move?

In spite of the giant stature which is much larger than its ancestors, it had a bird-like elongated femur with strong feet that helped in fast locomotion.

How much did a Gigantoraptor weigh?

It is estimated that the average weight of a Gigantoraptor was nearly 3086.5 lb (1400 kg). They are so big that smaller tyrannosaurs and these dinosaurs are categorized under the same weight group!

What were the male and female names of the species?

The male and female counterparts of this dinosaur species have no separate names assigned to them. They can simply be referred to as male and/or female Gigantoraptors.

What would you call a baby Gigantoraptor?

Since babies of a Gigantoraptor hatched out of eggs like all other dinosaur species, they are called hatchlings or chicks.

What did they eat?

The accurate dietary habits of this theropod are yet to be uncovered. Nonetheless, since they had no teeth, it can be safely assumed that primarily, they were herbivores. Again, considering the long, sharp claws that are unique to carnivores, it won't be surprising for them to use those as lethal weapons to prey upon small creatures.

How aggressive were they?

Apart from the elongated claws, no predatory features or instincts were found in these dinosaurs. Hence, their level of aggression was nothing close to that of a T rex.

Did you know...

Scientific evidence regarding the evolutionary dynamics of animals suggests that the size of animals decreases when they undergo evolution. However, Gigantoraptor has evolved against the work of nature since most of their ancestors are among the smallest dinosaurs.

How big is a Gigantoraptor egg?

An archaeological expedition to North America led to the discovery of Macroelongatoolithus or oviraptorosaur eggs. The cylindrical eggs that measured over 20 in (50.8 cm) were originally considered to belong to oviraptors while further analyses revealed that those specifically belonged to a Gigantoraptor, leading scientists to believe that they inhabited this continent as well.

What does 'Gigantoraptor' mean?

The word 'Gigantoraptor' is a combination of two words, the Latin word 'gigas' or 'gigantis' meaning 'giant' and 'raptor' meaning 'seizer/hunter'. Its species 'erlianensis' is named after the Erlian Basin. Xu et al described and named this type of species. The term 'raptor' is irrelevant in the case of this theropod because primarily they were herbivores and had little carnivorous instincts like hunting or preying.

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 Kelmayisaurus fun facts, or Liliensternus facts for kids.

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

Image one by Nobu Tamura.

Image two by Carpenter, Kenneth.

Kidadl Team
Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>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.</p>

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