Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Superorder Dinosauria
Order Saurischia
Suborder Theropoda
Superfamily Allosauroidea
Family Carcharodontosauridae
Subfamily Carcharodontosaurinae
Genus Carcharodontosaurus
1st Species Carcharodontosaurus saharicus
2nd Species Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis
Other attributes
Time Range 100-93 mya
Location Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Niger
Name Meaning Shark-toothed reptile
Physical Dimensions 11.8 meters long
Weight 6.3 tonnes
Dietary Classification Carnivore

Comparison of C.saharicus specimens, with an 1.8 meter tall human for scale. Click to expand.

Carcharodontosaurus is a carcharodontosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Niger. It was officially named in 1931 by Ernst Stromer. It was one of the largest theropods (in terms of physical dimensions), and was thought to be a species of Megalosaurus before finally being described as its own genus.


Carcharodontosaurus was a giant theropod with a semi-bulky body, a long tail, short arms with 3 fingers on each hand, and a large head with a mouth containing lots of big teeth. Its body would have been covered in scaly skin.


Carcharodontosaurus was a predator, preying on iguanodonts, mid-sized sauropods, small crocodylomorphs, small pterosaurs, and dromaeosaurs. Its teeth had knife-like serrations from back to back, and had vaguely resembled those of a great white sharks's, hence the meaning of its name, "shark-toothed lizard"; those teeth would have been used to slice off pieces of flesh from the bodies of large prey.


Like its cousins, Allosaurus and Acrocanthosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus was a large theropod that ruled over its territory as a terrestrial apex predator. Although it didn't have the forward-facing eyes that Tyrannosaurus boasted, it was still a visually-oriented carnivore, as shown by a large optic nerve. Due to its leg proportions, it wasn't an extremely fast runner; however, this would not have affected its hunting success rate in any way, as it was able to keep up with many of its prey items. Once it tracked down a large herbivore, it would rush up to it, bite a large chunk of flesh off its body with its jaws, and let the herbivore attempt to run away, as the great amount of blood loss would soon weaken it and allow for the theropod to finish it off.

In popular cultureEdit

Carcharodontosaurus was featured in both the 1st and 5th episode of the 2011 documentary Planet Dinosaur; in the first episode, it is shown as rutting with rival males in order to achieve hunting rights to a herd of (inaccurately misplaced) Ouranosaurus. Meanwhile, in the 5th episode, it tussles with a Sarcosuchus (also misplaced through time) over a juvenile Paralititan; after a few seconds, it wins and drives the pholidosaur away, but immediately gets scared off by a large herd of the sauropods that were advancing towards it in order to get their offspring back.

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