Some paleontologists think that Carnotaurus could have used its horns to head butt!

Carnotaurus' spindly forearms were just 0.5m (1.6ft) long, which would have been tiny compared to the rest of its body; far shorter than Tyrannosaurus forearms. Each arm could not even touch the other, so clapping would have been out of the question.

At first glance Carnotaurus looks similar to T. rex, but they are very distantly related theropods.

The hips and tail of Carnotaurus would have made it well adapted for the Olympic sprint. Its caudofemoralis, or thigh muscle, weighed 15% of its entire body mass. Carnotaurus could run faster than Tyrannosaurus and perhaps all other theropods.

Carnotaurus would have had a reasonable IQ for a dinosaur - possibly well within the upper margins. The theropods were the most intelligent group of dinosaurs.

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Carnotaurus

"Meat Eating Bull"

DinosauriaTheropodaAbelisauridae

Carnotaurus was a bipedal carnivore with miniscule forearms, a boxy head and bull-like horns. A pretty ugly dinosaur, if ever we saw one.

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When?

Carnotaurus lived during the Late Cretaceous, 71 million years ago.

Extinct for about: 00,000,000,000 Days00 Hours00 Min00 Sec

How old are you?
00,00,00.00 of your lifetimes have passed since their extinction.
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They Call it Home

Carnotaurus lived in a lake- or lagoon-dominated environment. The climate was warm but with distinct wet and dry seasons.

Flood Plains

Flood Plains

Lakes

Lakes

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Where?

Location

  • Argentina (La Colonia Formation)
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What We Heard About Their Hearing

Human Ear

We haven't heard much about Carnotaurus' hearing. 

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What Big Teeth You Have

Dinosaur Tooth

Carnotaurus' teeth were 7.5 times smaller than those of Tyrannosaurus.

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Nose Knowledge

Human Nose

Carnotaurus would have had a fairly standard sense of smell for a theropod dinosaur.

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The Poop Scoop

Dinosaur Poop

We haven't uncovered any Carnotaurus poo.

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The Most Fantastic Find

Only one Carnotaurus fossil has been found so far: in Argentina by palaeontologist Jose Bonaparte in 1985. Amazingly, most of the skeleton, its skull and skin impressions were unearthed. A discovery this detailed is extremely rare in palaeontology.

From The Expert

The puny forearms of Carnotaurus are even smaller than those of T. rex. In absolute size, they are smaller than human arms.

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Sizing it Up

HeightLengthWeight

Compare to:

4m / 13.12ft


Carnotaurus was the same height as Tyrannosaurus rex.

1 human
1 human
4 m / 13.12 ft

2.27

Number of people head-to-toe to reach the top of Carnotaurus. (average human height 1.76 m / 5.7 ft)

Compare to:

9m / 29.52ft


Carnotaurus was 4m (13ft) shorter in length than T. rex

1 human
1 human
9 m / 29.52 ft

5.29

Number of people side by side touching finger tips to match this length (average arm span 1.7 m / 5.58 ft ).

Compare to:

2.0tonnes / 2.24short tons


Carnotaurus was less than half the weight of T. rex.

carnotaurus weight
car
x28.9

Number of people weighing 70.31 kg / 155 lbs needed to match the weight of Carnotaurus.

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Dino On The Go!

Carnotaurus could only run fast in one direction, so weaving from side to side would be our advice if you ever get chased by one.

40kph / 24.85mph

  • Horse 52 kph / 32.3 mph
  • Carnotaurus40 kph / 24.85 mph
  • Cheetah 120.7 kph / 75 mph

22.5kph / 14mph

The average human sprint speed.

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Family Album

Family Album

Carnotaurus was part of a group of dinosaurs known as the abelisaurs. These were theropod dinosaurs with bony crests and horns, found only in the southern hemisphere. Other abelisaurs include Abelisaurus and Majungasaurus

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Vision

Carnotaurus Vision

Carnotaurus had rather small eyes. We think its vision may not have been as important as its sense of smell.

Carnotaurus Vision.

Human Vision

The human field of view is roughly 180 degrees.

Human Field of View
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The Skinny On Their Skin

Carnotaurus

From a fossilised skin sample, scientists have found that Carnotaurus had small pebbly scales over its body with large, conical scutes (bony plates) forming rows along its side. 

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What's In The Nest?

Carnotaurus Egg

Carnotaurus eggs are assumed to fit the usual theropod pattern: bird-like in shape, measuring between 10 and 15 cm (4-6in) long and with a shell a couple of millimetres (0.07in) thick.

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Headlines

carnotaurus brain size

Carnotaurus had bull-like horns on its head. Males might have used these to fight other males over territory and females.

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Quite The Bite

Carnotaurus had a less powerful bite than T. rex, but its vaulted skull made it snappy like a turtle. Carnotaurus could have gripped victims securely in its backward-curving teeth.

Statistics

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Good Eatin'

Plant Icon

Carnotaurus would have been an active predator of small, agile prey.

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Parental Guidance

Carnotaurus Parent and Child

Carnotaurus most probably guarded its eggs and watched over its offspring. They were certainly too big to sit on the nest and brood so they may have used rotting plants to incubate the eggs much like modern alligators do. This is speculation, though, because Carnotaurus eggs have never been found.

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True Colours

Color Wheel

We can only guess what colour Carnotaurus was.