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There it was - the biggest land predator ever!

Chased by Dinosaurs: Land of Giants

Giganotosaurus was a carcharodontosaurid from the Cretaceous. It was one of the largest theropods to ever live.

Creature attributes

Physical appearance and biology

Giganotosaurus was a massive predator. It had a large body which ended in a long tail. It had a short neck with a large head. Its jaws were lined with long, serrated teeth designed to slice flesh. On the top of its head, above its eyes, was a small head crest.

It had two relatively long arms with three digits per hand, each ending in a long, sharp curved claw. It also had a pair of long legs.

In the series, Giganotosaurus was depicted as being mostly brown with a white underbelly. Its crest was dark green. Its legs had black spots running down the femur and white stripes along the tibia.

Behaviour and traits

Giganotosaurus was a giant theropod. It was the largest terrestrial carnivores to ever live, even larger than Tyrannosaurus rex. Being this size, it was the alpha predator of its region. It length ranged from 39 to 43 feet (12 to 13 meters) long.

Giganotosaurus were both solitary and group hunters. Some would hunt individually. On their own, they would be able to hunt some of the smaller animals in its ecosystem such as iguanodonts and other small animals.

In packs, Giganotosaurus could hunt the largest prey. A prime example would be Argentinosaurus - the largest dinosaur to ever live. Despite its size, even Argetinosaurus would be in danger of Giganotosaurus. Giganotosaurus also hunted another sauropod in its region called Andesaurus.

In Chased by Dinosaurs

Land of Giants

A closeup of Giganotosaurus.(Chased by Dinosaurs)

When returning to the camp site, Nigel Marven discovered that the tents had been wrecked by a large animal. Amongst the carnage, he found a large tooth with gum stuck to the roots embedded in a can of meat.

Nigel found a patch of blood on a rock after finding a seriously injured iguanodont. He soon found out that the perpetrator was a Giganotosaurus. He found the Giganotosaurus standing over the corpse of an iguanodont. It then clamped down on the carrion and carried it away.

Whilst driving, Nigel saw an iguanodont fleeing. As he looked back, he saw a Giganotosaurus chasing the jeep. The carnivore persisted in chasing Nigel but fortunately for him, the theropod gave up. 

A Giganotosaurus eating.(Chased by Dinosaurs)

Nigel subsequently discovered that the Argentinosaurus herd he was observing was being harassed by a pack of five or six Giganotosaurus. They selected a young female as their target and attacked her repeatedly. 

Giganotosaurus chasing Nigel Marven's car.(Chased by Dinosaurs)

Soon after, the young female was left behind and the Giganotosaurus pack surrounded her. The attack lasted into the night when fortunately for Nigel, it was too dark to record the attack.

In Sea Monsters

Nigel Marven getting chased by Giganotosaurus. (Sea Monsters)

Dangerous Seas

Nigel Marven was chased by a Giganotosaurus

In Walking with Dinosaurs: Inside Their World

Giganotosaurus is one of the dinosaurs featured in this app.

(Also see: Giganotosaurus/Generation 2)


Behind the scenes

Giganotosaurus was depicted on the show as the largest carnivorous dinosaur, though current size estimates favor Spinosaurus.

When the documentary was being made, the fossils it was based on had been dug and were kept in storage. It was thought that those fossils belonged to Giganotosaurus carolini. However, after they were studied, they were classified as Mapusaurus which could, in the future, turn out to be synonymous with Giganotosaurus. The dinosaur in this documentary was based on them, hence it is Mapusaurus.

In the Russian version of Land of Giants, the narrator erroneously calls Giganotosaurus by the name Gigantosaurus. In reality, Gigantosaurus (meaning "giant lizard") was a dubious genus of sauropod dinosaur from Late Jurassic England.

List of appearances

Official WWD image

Notes and references

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