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Carnotaurus, Flesh eating Bull, lived in the Late Cretaceous of South America. It was the largest. Latest and most derived of the carnotaurine abelisaurs.

Content List

1. Genera & species

2. Characteristics

a. Size

b. Behavior

3. History of Discovery

4. Paleoenvironment

5. References

Genera and Species

Classification: Theropoda, Neoceratosasuria, Abelisaura

Species: C. sastrei


Carnotaurus is unusual for its deep shape of the skull and the horns just above the eyes. The 4 digits on each hand are a primitive feature, and the forelimbs, not much longer than the fingers, were even shorter than in Tyrannosaurus, and did not bend, as they were formed from the upper arm bones only. Its skin was covered with bumps in rows, becoming larger towards the spine. Each bump was surrounded by tubercles. Skin impressions representative of nearly the entire body length have been found, giving scientists their best information on dinosaur skin. Its long, muscular back legs probably made it more agile than other theropods. It may have used its horns and thickened skull in intraspecific fighting.


LENGTH: 5 - 8 m (16.5 - 27 ft). WEIGHT: 1.5 tons.


As the apex predator it preyed upon the saltasaurine sauropods, the recently arrived hadrosaurs.

History of Discovery

Discovered in Bonaparte, 1985 and known for a complete skeleton and skull with skin impressions.


Found in southern Argentina. This last part of the age of dinosaurs in the southern hemisphere shows a mix of South American carnotaurine theropods, saltasaurine sauropods with duck bills and nodosaurs from North America.


1. Paul, G. (2010). The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs (pp. 2133). Princeton, New Jersey: University Press Princeton.

2. Worth, G. (1999). The Dinosaur Encyclopaedia Dev 13 (pp. 596). Scarborough, Western Australia: HyperWorks Reference Software.