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Carcharodontosauridae facts for kids

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Temporal range: Upper JurassicUpper Cretaceous, 154–70 mya
Cast of a Carcharodontosaurus saharicus skull, Santa Barbara
Scientific classification

The Carcharodontosauridae were a family of carnivorous theropod dinosaurs. They are a clade in the Carnosauria. Carcharodontosaurids included some of the largest land predators ever known: Giganotosaurus, Mapusaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, and Tyrannotitan. All of these rivalled or exceeded Tyrannosaurus in size.


Together with the spinosaurids, carcharodontosaurids were the largest predators in the early and middle Cretaceous throughout Gondwana. They were also in North America (Acrocanthosaurus), and Asia (Shaochilong).

Their ages range from 127 to 93 million years ago (mya). After that, they may have been replaced by the smaller abelisaurids in Gondwana and by tyrannosaurids in North America and Asia. If so, this faunal replacement occurred on a global scale.

However, some theropod teeth discovered in the late Cretaceous of Brazil, as well as a fragment of right maxilla appear to belong to carcharodontosaurids. This suggests the group survived until the latest Cretaceous.

In December 2011, Oliver Rauhut described a new genus and species of carcharodontosaurid from the Upper Jurassic (late Kimmeridgian to earliest Tithonian, about 154–150 mya) of southeastern Tanzania. Veterupristisaurus is the oldest known carcharodontosaurid.

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