Paleontology

Allosaurus



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                Allosaurs was the biggest predator on earth during its time. It hunted the largest land animals ever to walk the earth, the sauropods. It is also the most scientifically important dinosaur because so many remains have been found.

            Allosaurs was the largest predator of the Jurassic from 156-144 million years ago. It was up to forty five feet long and almost four tons. It has been found it the western U.S.A., Wyoming, Colorado and, Montana, and Portugal and possibly Australia but that has not been confirmed yet.

            Allosaurs was discovered in 1877 by Othniel Marsh, one of the greatest dinosaur hunters to have live, while he was in Colorado. Allosaurs is so scientifically important because of all of the remains found. Several complete skeletons and some complete skulls have been found. One of the best finds was made in Utah, were hundreds of Allosaurs bones have been found mixed with hundreds of sauropods bones, like a dinosaur grave yard. Because of all the fossils found we know a great deal about their anatomy, appearance, and lifestyle. Fossils can also tell scientist what the dinosaur ate, how it died, and even what the atmosphere might have been like.

            Allosaurs like most theropods ate meat. They lived during the time of the large sauropods which they may have eaten. Allosaurs was no threat to adult sauropods but they may have preyed on the young, sick, and old. It is also believed they may have grouped together in packs to hunt these large animals. For an Allosaurs hunting a sauropod would have been very dangerous, one whip of the tail could have fatally injured Allosaurs or even have killed them instantly.  They also probably ambushed smaller dinosaurs that they were not fast enough to catch. Lying in ambush is probably how Allosaurs spent most of its time because it used less energy than hunting animals up to twenty times its own weight.

            As the largest predator of its time Allosaurs was top gun in its world for a long time and it is still one of the greatest dinosaurs ever. It has taught scientists many things about itself, dinosaurs in general, and about the time when they lived. Allosaurs is truly a great dinosaur.

            Paul Barrett, National Geographic Dinosaurs, Washington D.C.: Firecrest Books LTD, 1999

            Paul Dowswell, John Malam, Paul Mason, Steve Parker, The Ultimate Book of Dinosaurs, Fressingfield: Monkey Puzzle Media LTD, 2000

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