10 Interesting Facts about Allosaurus

These following facts about allosaurus should probably give you much information about this animal. Allosaurus is a genus of large theropod dinosaur that lived 155 to 150 million years ago during the late Jurassic period. The name “Allosaurus” means “different lizard”. It is derived from the Greek “allos” (“different” or “other”) and “saurus” (generic reptile). The first fossil remains that can definitely be ascribed to this genus were described in 1877 by paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh, and it became known as Antrodemus. Furthermore, to get to know more about this animal, here are the other facts about allosaurus you might be might be interested in.

Facts about allosaurus 1: Skull

Allosaurus was a large bipedal predator. Its skull was large and equipped with dozens of large, sharp teeth. It averaged 8.5 m (28 ft) in length, though fragmentary remains suggest it could have reached over 12 m (39 ft).

Facts about allosaurus 2: Prey

Paleontologists have unearthed solid evidence that Allosaurus preyed on Stegosaurus: an Allosaurus vertebra with a puncture wound that matches the shape of a Stegosaurus tail spike, and a Stegosaurus neck bone bearing an Allosaurus-shaped bite mark.

Facts about allosaurus - Allosaurus fossil
Facts about allosaurus – Allosaurus fossil

Facts about allosaurus 3: Life Span

Estimating a dinosaur’s life span is always a tricky matter, but based on the voluminous fossil evidence, paleontologists believe Allosaurus attained its full adult size by age 15 (and was thus no longer vulnerable to predation). Barring disease, starvation or thagomizer wounds from angry stegosaurs, this dinosaur may have been capable of living another 10 or 15 years.

Facts about allosaurus 4: Bone Wars

In their zeal to one-up one another, the 19th-century paleontologists Othniel C. Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope sometimes “diagnosed” new dinosaurs based on too-scanty evidence. Marsh had the honor of coining the genus Allosaurus, but both he and Cope went on to name other, supposedly new dinosaurs that (on further examination) turned out to be separate Allosaurus species.

Facts about allosaurus - Allosaurus model
Facts about allosaurus – Allosaurus model

Facts about allosaurus 5: Big Al

It was only in 1991–after a full century of Allosaurus discoveries–that researchers unearthed an exquisitely preserved, near-complete fossil, which they promptly dubbed “Big Al.” Unfortunately, Big Al didn’t live a very happy life: analysis of its bones reveals numerous fractures and bacterial infections, which doomed this 26-foot-long teenaged dinosaur to a relatively early death.

Facts about allosaurus 6: Teeth Replacement

Like many predatory dinosaurs, allosaurus constantly grew, shed and replaced its teeth, some of which averaged three or four inches in length (this dinosaur had about 16 teeth, in both its upper and lower jaws, at any given time). For this reason, it’s possible to buy real, fossilized Allosaurus teeth for reasonable prices.

Facts about allosaurus - Big Al
Facts about allosaurus – Big Al

Facts about allosaurus 7: Separate Species

As mentioned above, the early history of Allosaurus is littered with supposedly “new” dinosaurs that turned out, on further examination, to be separate Allosaurus species. To date, seven species have been more-or-less accepted by paleontologists, with a dozen or so more considered dubious at best; even still, one suspects that most experts would be happy with just  A. fragilis.

Facts about allosaurus 8: Cannibalism

There is some evidence for cannibalism in Allosaurus, including Allosaurus shed teeth found among rib fragments, possible tooth marks on a shoulder blade, and cannibalized allosaur skeletons among the bones at Bakker’s lair sites.

Facts about allosaurus - Fossil displays
Facts about allosaurus – Fossil displays

Facts about allosaurus 9: Brain and Senses

The brain of Allosaurus, as interpreted from spiral CT scanning of an endocast, was more consistent with crocodilian brains than those of the other living archosaurs, birds. The structure of the vestibular apparatus indicates that the skull was held nearly horizontal, as opposed to strongly tipped up or down.

Facts about allosaurus 10: Popular Culture

Along with Tyrannosaurus, Allosaurus has come to represent the quintessential large, carnivorous dinosaur in popular culture. It is a common dinosaur in museums, due in particular to the excavations at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry; by 1976, as a result of cooperative operations, 38 museums in eight countries on three continents had Cleveland-Lloyd allosaur material or casts.

Facts about allosaurus - Hands and claws
Facts about allosaurus – Hands and claws

Hope you would find those allosaurus facts really interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.

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