Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Carnotaurus sastrei

The Carnotaurus is a popular Dinosaur due to its large size (up to 30ft long) and interesting appearance. They had very straight, muscular bodies that allowed them to run quickly, as well as distinctive horns over their eyes.

And yes, that painting is correct-- Carnotarus had tiny arms. Absolutely, minuscule! They make a T. Rex's look huge by comparison! These itty bitty arms were probably function-less, having the same reduced nerve fibers found in the tiny useless wings of flightless birds like Emus.

Carnotaurus lived before the T. Rex, about 72-70 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous. Their fossils have been found in Argentina, and were only discovered back in 1984. Interestingly, Carnotaurus was the very first Theropod Dinosaur to give us fossilized skin impressions. We know that they were covered in scales, as well as knobby bumps that ran down the back. They were also absent of feathers.

There is some disagreement over what Carnotaurus ate. While it is accepted that they were very fast, and could run down prey, there is dispute over what the prey was. Some argue that their bite strength was low, but the movement was quick, and that they probably captured small creatures and swallowed them whole. Others suggest that their bite was actually very strong, and would've been used to repeatedly attack larger prey. Publications have been going back and forth on this topic for over 15 years.

Status : Extinct for 70 Million Years
Location : South America
Size : Length up to 30ft (9m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Clade : Dinosauria -- Clade : Theropoda
Family : †Abelisauridae -- Genus : †Carnotaurus -- Species : † C. sastrei
Image : Nobu Tamura, Ghedoghedo

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