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Type of predator
Living period

Allosaurus-Ferocious dino from America

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Description

Allosaurus is a genus of large theropod dinosaur that lived 155 to 145 million years ago, in the late Jurassic period.
The first remains that can definitely be ascribed to this genus were described in 1877 by Othniel Charles Marsh. As one of the first well-known theropod dinosaurs, it has long attracted attention outside of paleontological circles, and has been a lead dinosaur in several films and documentaries.

 

Allosaurus,hunting in packs,large bipedal predator,North America prehistoric predator


Allosaurus was a large bipedal predator with a large skull, equipped with dozens of large, sharp teeth. It averaged 8.5 meters (30 ft) in length, though fragmentary remains suggest it could have reached over 12 meters (39 ft). Relative to the large and powerful hindlimbs, its three-fingered forelimbs were small, and the body was balanced by a long, heavy tail. It is classified as an allosaurid, a type of carnosaurian theropod dinosaur.
The genus has a complicated taxonomy, and includes an uncertain number of valid species, the best known of which is A. fragilis. The bulk of Allosaurus remains have come from North America's Morrison Formation, with material also from Portugal and possibly Tanzania.
It was known for over half of the 20th century as Antrodemus, but study of the copious remains from the Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry brought the name Allosaurus back to prominence, and established it as one of the best-known dinosaurs.

Allosaurus,hunting in packs,large bipedal predator,North America prehistoric predator


Allosaurus was a typical large theropod, having a massive skull on a short neck, a long tail and reduced forelimbs.
Studies of Allosaurus hindlimbs indicate that juveniles had a longer leg length than sub-adults or adults.This fact would indicate that locomotion was also different.
As a young animal Allosaurus may have had more multi-directional loads and stresses on the hindlimb which is associated with agile running, not in a straight forward direction only as is indicated in adults. This ability to change direction quickly meant that the feeding strategy of a juvenile was far different than an adult. As a juvenile, Allosaurus may have been able to pursue small vertebrate prey but switched to being a more ambush-type predator as it grew larger.

 

Allosaurus,hunting in packs,large bipedal predator,North America prehistoric predator

 


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).
Relative to the large and powerful hindlimbs, its three-fingered forelimbs were small, and the body was balanced by a long and heavily muscled tail. It is classified as an allosaurid, a type of carnosaurian theropod dinosaur.


Allosaurus,hunting in packs,large bipedal predator,North America prehistoric predator

According to their biomechanical analysis, the skull was very strong but had a relatively small bite force. By using jaw muscles only, it could produce a bite force of 805 to 2,148 N, less than the values for alligators (13,000 N), lions (4,167 N), and leopards (2,268 N), but the skull could withstand nearly 55,500 N of vertical force against the tooth row.



Habitat
Midwest USA: Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming; also Europe (Portugal) and Africa

 

Allosaurus,hunting in packs,large bipedal predator,North America prehistoric predator


Diet
Some paleontologists interpret Allosaurus as having had cooperative social behavior, and hunting in packs, while others believe individuals may have been aggressive toward each other, and that congregations of this genus are the result of lone individuals feeding on the same carcasses. It may have attacked large prey by ambush, using its upper jaw like a hatchet.
Allosaurus used its skull like a hatchet against prey, attacking open-mouthed, slashing flesh with its teeth, and tearing it away without splintering bones, unlike Tyrannosaurus, which is thought to have been capable of damaging bones.
According to scientists studies, Allosaurus could have gripped prey with the skull and feet, then pulled back and up to remove flesh.
Paleontologists have unearthed solid evidence that Allosaurus preyed on (or at least occasionally tussled with) Stegosaurus: an Allosaurus vertebra with a puncture wound that matches the shape of a Stegosaurus tail spike (or "thagomizer"), and a Stegosaurus neck bone bearing an Allosaurus-shaped bite mark.




Interesting Facts

  • Allosaurus (AL –uh-SOR-us) means different lizard.
  • According to their biomechanical analysis, the skull was very strong but had a relatively small bite force. By using jaw muscles only, it could produce a bite force of 805 to 2,148 N, less than the values for alligators (13,000 N), lions (4,167 N), and leopards (2,268 N), but the skull could withstand nearly 55,500 N of vertical force against the tooth row.
  • The brain of Allosaurus was more consistent with crocodilian brains than those of the other living archosaurs, birds.
  • Top speed of Allosaurus has been estimated at 30 to 55 kilometers per hour (19 to 34 miles per hour).

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Sources:
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1671/0272-4634%282006%2926%5B321%3ABVITD%5D2.0.CO%3B2#.UxWhpYXNlM0
http://www.mnhnc.ul.pt/geologia/gaia/16.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allosaurus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:John_Troodon/Archive1a
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/Allosaurus_fragilis_skeleton_in_Bergamo.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/coryandjen/9222613395/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/coryandjen/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cunningba/2755510321/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/3281522775/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/98129632@N07/9463158667/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jobaria/5672823943/
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