Dinosaur of the Day: Carnotaurus

 carnotaurus2

Carnotaurus

(CAR-no-TORE-us)

Greek for “meat-eating bull”

Our first Dinosaur of the Day is the one-ton, 25-foot-long, meat-eating, name-taking, killing machine Carnotaurus. Featured heavily in Terra Nova and Michael Crichton’s The Lost World, Carnotaurus is one of the weirdest looking dinosaurs to ever roam the planet. No doubt, Carnotaurus is ugly. He’s got a face only a mother could love and arms tinier than T-rex. But that didn’t stop him from running around the plains of Africa, kicking more ass than Arnold in an 80’s action flick.

CARNOTAURUSmedium

This badass lived late in the game, during the late Cretaceous period, about 70 million years ago. For those of you paying attention, that’s 5 million years before the tragic asteroid disaster. Let’s all take a moment to remember our fallen heroes.

Carnotaurus was discovered by Jose Bonaparte-a famous paleontologist you may or may not have heard of-in Argentina almost 30 years ago.

Argentina? That’s not Africa!

Congratulations Batman, you’re the world’s greatest detective! 70 million years ago, Argentina and Africa were bros. They had just separated to go to different colleges on opposite sides of the world, but were still pretty close and talked almost every day. Thus the fossil being in Argentina.

Only one fossil has ever been found, but it was almost totally complete, missing only a few tail bones and part of a leg.

carnomuseum

No need to panic, dinosaurs are dead. This is a museum in Prague.

The bone structure suggests that Carnotaurus was stacked. He was one of the fastest therapods (two legged meat eaters) to ever have lived. This means that Carnotaurus probably chased down his prey and might have used those thick stubby horns for dinosaur jousting. They also may have been a sign of sexual virility. That’s right, on top of smashing other dinosaurs in the face with his face, Carnotaurus horny protrusions got him some dino-ladies.

Disney featured Carnotaurus as the bad guy in the 2000 movie “Dinosaur.” Aided by the fact that Carnotaurus fossil was accompanied by one of the only known perfectly preserved dinosaur skin impressions, they did a pretty good job.  Check out the  clip below to see him in action. If it were real life, I’d like to imagine he would have just eaten the other dinosaurs outright:

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