Question from a Young Dinosaur Fan – Was Mapusaurus bigger than T. rex?

One of the many emails received this week was from a young dinosaur fan who asked the question was Mapusaurus from South America bigger than Tyrannosaurus rex?

The first fossilised remains of the dinosaur we now know as Mapusaurus (Mapusaurus roseae) were discovered in 1997, however, not in Africa where many giant meat-eating dinosaurs roamed, but in central Argentina (South America).  This dinosaur lived some thirty million years before Tyrannosaurus rex evolved.  A number of these dinosaurs were found together, this suggests that they lived in a pack and they may have specialised in attacking the huge Titanosaurs that shared their environment with them.  The biggest Mapusaurus specimen is approaching T. rex size at around twelve metres in length and perhaps weighing as much as six tonnes.  This makes it only just smaller than the largest T. rex specimen known.

However, the teeth, jaws and skull of Mapusaurus was very different.  Mapusaurus had a long, narrow, lighter skull, that was not as powerful as the Tyrannosaurus rex skull.  It had more teeth in the jaw, but each tooth was thinner and more narrow than typical T. rex teeth.  The teeth were probably sharper but it did not have anywhere as near a powerful bite.  Mapusaurus was probably a faster runner and more agile than T. rex.

A Model of the South American Dinosaur Mapusaurus (M. roseae)

Rose's Earth Reptile - Mapusaurus

Rose’s Earth Reptile – Mapusaurus

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above is the model of the carnivorous dinosaur Mapusaurus, one of Everything Dinosaur’s toys and dinosaur models.

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