Think of a truly terrifying dinosaur. Chances are, the one in your mind is an allosaurus. The allosaurus is one of the most well-known dinosaurs and the one most of us imagine ripping through a jungle destroying everything in sight.
- Allosaurus was first discovered in the U.S. in 1877. Its name means other lizard.
- It lived during the Late Jurassic Period—between 155 and 150 million years ago— and it’s a member of the Theropoda group.
- The Allosaurus was huge—almost 40 feet long—with serrated, razor-sharp teeth that could grow 12 inches or longer. These teeth could rip through prey like a chainsaw.
- Allosaurus had muscular back legs that allowed it to run quickly, as well as strong arms and sharp, hooked claws.
- It had a flexible jaw, similar to a snake, allowing it to open its mouth even wider when eating prey. Its teeth were actually smaller than many meat-eating dinosaurs of its size, but its wide jaws gave it an advantage. Scientists aren’t sure if it killed live animals or lived mostly by scavenging carcasses.
- Allosaurus bones have been found in Portugal, the western U.S., and parts of Africa.
- Scientists have discovered numerous Allosaurus bones, which tells us that this dinosaur was probably a very successful predator during its time.
- This dinosaur lived with other commonly known dinosaurs, such as the stegosaurus, diplodocus, and brontosaurus.
- The Allosaurus had hollow bones and bones with holes in them. It was probably lightweight for its size. It also had an advanced respiratory system that allowed it to cool itself, useful since it probably lived in a hot, dry climate.
Find out more about Allosaurus.