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"What is that?"
"Giganotosaurus. Biggest carnivore the world has ever seen."
Ellie Sattler and Dr. Alan Grant's reaction as the Giganotosaurus made its appearance.(src)

Giganotosaurus (meaning "giant southern lizard") or “Giga” for short, is a genus of theropod that lived in Argentina during the Late Cretaceous period. One of the largest known meat-eating dinosaurs ever discovered, it is also by far the largest species of allosauroid to ever exist. For many years, Tyrannosaurus held that record, although bits and pieces of Carcharodontosaurus and Spinosaurus showed that they possibly could rival the giant coelurosaur in size. Then, in the late 1980s into the early 1990s, Argentine paleontologists Rodolfo Coria and Leonardo Salgado discovered and revealed the existence of a new meat-eater bigger than any known tyrant lizard. They named the giant dinosaur Giganotosaurus carolinii.

While determining exactly which theropod genera was the largest, metrics for Giganotosaurus have consistently placed it as larger than an average Tyrannosaurus and comparable to the largest known specimens of Tyrannosaurus. More specimens of the Giganotosaurus are required to give a clearer picture of size, as all species will exist within a spectrum of sizes. For now, it is safe to consider the likes of Giganotosaurus, Spinosaurus, and Tyrannosaurus as comparable to one another in terms of size (though Spinosaurus is technically the longer animal, it is comparable in weight to Tyrannosaurus and Giganotosaurus due to its more slender build in real life).

When Giganotosaurus was alive, the most common herbivores found in South America were the titanosaur sauropods such as Argentinosaurus, Dreadnoughtus, and Andesaurus, respectively. While a single Giganotosaurus was capable of killing a young titanosaur or a large ornithopod, it would take many Giganotosaurus to bring down a giant adult sauropod. Originally, there was no evidence that Giganotosaurus hunted in groups, but recent findings from slightly younger rocks shows that their sister taxon (closest relative) Mapusaurus may have formed coalitions similar to crocodiles or perhaps even family groups given the high size variation and age differences between individuals. While not known if this was true pack living behavior, these coalitions of 6 or more individuals would probably have been capable of coordinating attacks on targets of opportunity such as a large sauropod.

Characteristics[]

Unlike its predecessor, the Giganotosaurus replica had prominent ridges, that ran vertically from the top of its forehead and continued downward, occupying about half of the length of the skull overall. This characteristic caused the Giganotosaurus clone's head to possess remarkable resemblance to the Indominus rex. Its dorsal surface was covered by a regular pattern of sharp projections that started at the area near the neck and went all the way down to the area just below its pelvic region. Suddenly, a distinctive protuberance made of a group of spines appeared at this location. It later tapered down and merged with the small spines that ran the length of the creature's tail until it ended. The creature's mouth, which lacks lips because it is lipless, has teeth that protrude unevenly from it that resemble the dental structure of a modern crocodilian species. The skin of the Giganotosaurus displays a coloration that combines deep brown and gray tones with a hint of lush green. Additionally, it has distinctive black patterns that are primarily found on its head region before changing to coarse, clearly defined stripes along its dorsal surface. The replicated specimen had an approximate length of 15.5 meters (50.9 feet), a height of 5.5 meters (roughly 18 feet), and a substantial weight of 9 tons (equivalent to 8,165 kilograms). Additionally, the cloned specimen is said to run as fast as 30 miles (48 kilometers) per hour. With the exception of the Indominus rex, the Giganotosaurus is by far the largest carnivorous dinosaur featured in the series.

Behavioral[]

Giganotosaurus is generally considered to be solitary creatures, although it is still unclear if they exhibit any sociable behaviors. However, there have been observations of individual Giganotosaurus, both from the late Cretaceous period and the present day, resting in comfortable spots where small theropods, such as Moros, can clean their teeth. This suggests a possible mutual benefit, as the Giganotosaurus's mouth is open for the cleaning process.

In regards to territorial and food conflicts, Giganotosaurus has been observed engaging in confrontations with other theropods, including the formidable Tyrannosaurus rex. Historical evidence suggests that there have been instances where a Giganotosaurus was able to successfully defend against or even kill a Tyrannosaurus rex in brief yet intense encounters, potentially motivated by territorial disputes or competition for prey, such as a hadrosaur. These confrontations often involve circling, growling, and snapping, rather than immediate biting, as a means of intimidation. If intimidation fails, the animals will proceed to engage in physical combat, often resulting in fatal outcomes. In present-day observations, similar fights have been witnessed among the descendants of Giganotosaurus. However, it is worth noting that these fights may not always result in actual death, particularly when the dispute revolves around a smaller carcass, such as a deer.

Intriguingly, when examining the fascination of Giganotosaurus with fire locusts, it is plausible that they have not previously encountered fire or that there is something about the luminosity of the descending locusts that captures their attention. It is observed that the Giganotosaurus will consume the fire locusts if they are able to acquire them.

Physical Attributes[]

In the Late Cretaceous period and in the present time of the clone, Giganotosaurus has been found to possess slightly greater strength compared to other dinosaurs. It has demonstrated the ability to engage in combat with fully grown Tyrannosaurus rex, its ancestor, by engaging in head-to-head clashes. During these clashes, Giganotosaurus exhibited enough strength to push the Tyrannosaurus rex back. Additionally, Giganotosaurus possessed a formidable bite force that was capable of crushing the neck of the Tyrannosaurus rex, leading to its demise. However, it is possible that the footing of the Tyrannosaurus rex played a role, causing it to inadvertently contribute to its own demise by inadvertently cracking its own neck.

The Giganotosaurus displays remarkable resilience when confronted with attacks from Rexy, enduring headbutts and bites without succumbing. It even withstood multiple slashes from the powerful claws of the Therizinosaurus. Additionally, it endured an early attack from Ian Malcom, who thrust a spear lit with fire from a deceased locust into the mouth of the Giganotosaurus, causing discomfort due to the flames.

History[]

In the Past[]

During the Cretaceous period, a Giganotosaurus rested a while a Moros scavenged morsels of meat stuck between the teeth of Giganotosaurus until a Tyrannosaurus approached the pair, causing the Giganotosaurus to confront the intruder and forcing the Moros as well as a nearby Iguanodon and some birds to leave the area. The carnivores circled and roared at each other until a fight broke out, with the Giganotosaurus quickly managing to bite the neck of its opponent and sliced it. After slicing the throat of the corpse and dumping it off a small cliff, the Giganotosaurus left the area.[2]

Jurassic World[]

Genetic material of Giganotosaurus was in possession of InGen by the year 2014 and was used in the creation of the genetic hybrid Indominus rex. However, no individuals were cloned for the park.[1]

Jurassic World: Dominion[]

"Don't move."
Alan Grant and Owen Grady.(src)

The Giganotosaurus was among the dinosaurs cloned by Biosyn sometime after 2018 and kept within their valley. At some point, the Giganotosaurus had a chip inserted into its brain, allowing it to be controlled when needed.

While Ellie Sattler, Alan Grant, and Ramsay Cole were heading towards Biosyn Valley, the Giganotosaurus slept peacefully as he was approached by a Moros. Later that day, Owen Grady and Kayla Watts witnessed the Giganotosaurus encounter the clone of its old rival that was killed 65 million years ago, Rexy, the elderly Tyrannosaurus rex who was recently transported to the Biosyn Valley, scavenging a carcass of a deer that met its end at the claws of a Therizinosaurus. The pair had a brief tussle over the carcass until the Tyrannosaurus backed off, allowing the Giganotosaurus to feed on the carcass.

That night, a swarm of giant locusts that was set on fire by Lewis Dodgson in an attempt to erase his criminal activity escaped their containment and started a forest fire within the valley, during which the Giganotosaurus encountered Owen, Claire Dearing, Alan, Ian Malcolm, Ellie, Maisie Lockwood, and Kayla at an observation tower near its habitat and attacked them. At first the predator only followed them slowly until Maisie attempted to climb a ladder into the observation tower, at which point it bit down on the railing around the ladder and tore it off. Before it could turn back to its quarry, Malcolm got its attention by waving a flaming locust on a bar of metal, which he threw into the predator's mouth as he attempted to lunge at him, stunning the dinosaur and briefly setting its mouth on fire.

As the theropod briefly writhed in pain, flames from the burning locust shot out of its mouth. The large predator quickly turned back to the group however, who had all made it to a platform that looped around the tower, and proceeded to bite the platform and attempt to pull it down with Owen and Ellie, but all of the humans made it inside, prompting the Giganotosaurus to smash the glass of the tower and attempt to reach the group. Owen began stabbing the dinosaur with metal knives and broken pipes and Claire electrocuted its eye with a taser after Kayla shot it in the face with a tranquilizer dart, which forced the carnivore to retreat.

As the fire worsened, Biosyn used the chips they implanted in their animals to call them into the center of the Biosyn Research Facility. As it moved through the area, the Giganotosaurus was challenged by the old T. rex once more, and the two began battling. The Giganotosaurus managed to knock Rexy unconscious after a ferocious melee that nearly crushed the humans, but her limp body, held underfoot by the larger animal, had pinned a sheet of metal on top of Owen, Claire, Maisie, and Ramsay and was about to crush them. Ellie saw this and attempted to help them, but the dinosaur roared at her when she attempted to approach and prepared to attack.

Kayla then shot a flare to distract the large theropod, which landed beside a newcomer; the Therizinosaurus. The two dinosaurs fought each other, with the aggressive herbivore landing nasty slashing blows on the larger theropod until Rexy regained consciousness. Now finding itself cornered, the Giganotosaurus was unable to determine quickly enough which enemy was the greater threat, which allowed the Tyrannosaurus to bite its neck and ram it into the claws of the Therizinosaurus, impaling the predator in the neck and body before it eventually died seconds after it dropped to the ground.

Since this Giganotosaurus was the only known specimen of its kind to have been cloned, it is possible that the species fell back into extinction when it died at the claws of the Therizinosaurus. However, it is possible that unknown specimens and/or genetic material is still available somewhere else in the world.

Gallery[]

Promotional Images[]

Behind the scenes[]

Jurassic World: Dominion[]

Vocalization[]

To create an appropriate voice for the Giganotosaurus, Sound Designer Al Nelson and his colleagues recorded a variety of animals. The ones that were selected were mules, stallions and an elderly lioness called Daisy, who he discovered at the Conservators Center in North California. Alligator bellows were used for the deep growling sounds.

The roar emitted by the Giganotosaurus in Jurassic World: Dominion.

Trivia[]

JW Giganotosaurus

Giganotosaurus wallpaper

  • Giganotosaurus is the 2nd dinosaur in the film series to kill a Tyrannosaurus, the first being Spinosaurus.
  • An artistic render of Giganotosaurus, created by the Natural History Museum, is seen on a wall of one of the stores inside Jurassic World's Main Street.
  • Despite being grouped with abelisaurs (Carnotaurus, Majungasaurus, and Rugops) and being called an abelisaur on the website, it is actually classified as a carcharodontosaurid; a type of allosauroid (also referred to as carnosaurs) more closely related to Metriacanthosaurus, Acrocanthosaurus, and Allosaurus.
  • In real life, Giganotosaurus could have never fought Tyrannosaurus rex, as the latter lived in North America while the former lived in South America; the two were separated by roughly 30 million years; the two continents were not connected by a land bridge until 15-12 million years ago.
  • In 2020, while speaking about Jurassic World: Dominion, Sam Neill stated in an interview that the Giganotosaurus was the "biggest dinosaur ever discovered."[3] In 2021, Colin Trevorrow also described the animal as the "largest carnivore known to humankind" in an interview.[4] The second trailer for Jurassic World: Dominion and the film itself featured Alan Grant stating the animal was the "biggest carnivore the world has ever seen."[5] Dinotracker.com's profile for the animal, as well as Kayla Watts, states it to be the "largest known terrestrial carnivore."[6] A June 2022 article on Variety.com quoted the film's creature FX Supervisor John Nolan as saying, "It’s the biggest dinosaur that has been in films. His head is as big as a car and is absolutely huge."[7] Empire magazine published an article on the third Jurassic World film, including details on the animatronic Giganotosaurus, describing it as "an 11-ton, 22-foot-tall dinosaur." This is technically as it is the heaviest Theropod. however, Spinosaurus may still hold the distinction of being the longest carnivore.
  • Giganotosaurus was rumored to be the dinosaur antagonist of Jurassic World, then called by its preliminary name "Jurassic Park IV", before Indominus rex was revealed to be the antagonist. (Although, it did appear in the film in a sense as its genetic material was used in Indominus rex's creation[1]). However, Giganotosaurus has appeared as a final antagonist in Jurassic World: Dominion.
  • Giganotosaurus was featured in some concept art for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. However, Colin Trevorrow confirmed there were no plans for it to be added to the final cut.
  • At first glance, the real Giganotosaurus would be easily mistaken for a Tyrannosaurus by some people, so the design of this Giga has many distinguishing features that differentiate it from how it looked in life, some of which were intentionally added to help fans tell the two carnivores apart from one another.[8]
    • There is a noticeable hump on the Giga’s back, (similar to the one seen on Acrocanthosaurus), accompanied by a set of spikes, which may be some form of armor.
    • It also has a thick tail, which could be the result of a larger body.
    • Giganotosaurus is the generally larger and taller predator, similar to the Indominus and Spinosaurus.
    • Though the Giganotosaurus seen in the movie was killed, its possible that there might be one or several others somewhere in the valley.
  • The Giganotosaurus is the only Jurassic World main antagonist who never met Blue.
  • The way this dinosaur's name is pronounced behind the scenes and in the film is one of multiple ways it can be pronounced. The paleontologists who originally discovered it, pronounced it as “JYE-ga-NOE-to-SAW-rus”, with a soft G, like in “Gigantic,” or “Gyrosphere,” whereas the characters and producers pronounce it “GIG-a-NOT-o-SORE-us” with a hard G, as in “Gigabytes,” or “Great.”
  • Despite being cast as the main dinosaur antagonist of the film and given a somewhat villainous look, the Giganotosaurus acted more out of natural predatory instinct and curiosity rather than evil malice, which is likely the explanation as to why unlike its two predecessors, the Indominus rex and Indoraptor, it never went on a merciless killing spree for sport or was created/trained specifically to be a weapon. The only instance where villainous behaviour was shown was during the final battle, when it roared triumphantly after knocking Rexy down to the ground.
  • Like the prologue version of the Tyrannosaurus rex was shown as being partially feathered, the Giganotosaurus also had some differences that separated it from its clone. In the prologue, the Giga had mottled white skin with various stripes and splotches that faded at the dorsal hump and spikes, whereas the cloned individual is dark brownish-green with black stripes going down its body, and the second spike at the top of its neck is slightly tilted to the right.
  • During the confrontation scene at the research outpost in Dominion, the locust sample that Ellie originally obtained from the Biosyn lab would have fallen into Giga's mouth during their confrontation at the outpost's balcony. After the confrontation is over, Alan finds a smoking locust on the balcony. He puts it on a table, and Ellie snaps off a leg which she uses as her new DNA sample. This is included in the film's junior novelization. It's briefly seen in the second official trailer,[9] but it wasn't included in the extended version, although Trevorrow has stated it's the final cut of the movie.[10]
  • The scene where the flaming torch is thrown into the Giga's mouth and the Giga breathes fire is a heavy reference to Godzilla's atomic breath from kaiju movies.
  • The gender of this Giganotosaurus is never mentioned or spoken of in the film, but discussions behind the scenes called the giga as "it" by Colin Trevorrow in the interviews and called by cast the Animatronic video, as he said that he wanted the Giganotosaurus to be the main antagonist for Dominion, as he said, "I really wanted to make sure that we held her back to make sure we had a villain for the third movie", he referred the Giganotosaurus with female pronouns, Purportedly, at a promotional event in London, the staff there presented the dinosaur as being named "Zeb" due to its zebra-like stripes, and identified it as a male, but this has not been corroborated or elaborated on since. However, the actual gender of animal in the film has not been reliably confirmed due to many media referring to it with different pronouns.
  • Colin Trevorrow had stated that he wanted the Giganotosaurus to feel like The Joker. In the sense that it "just wants to watch the world burn." There is one scene in the film that alludes to this statement. The scene with the flaming locusts, two of which hit the carnivore in the face and it did not flinch, but only bellowed loudly as the fire worsened.

Behind the scenes[]

According to Industrial Light and Magic's Sr. Visual Effects Supervisor David Vickery, the Giganotosaurus was designed in a way to evoke hatred from the audience, with its facial markings designed to give it an evil appearance, with Colin specifying at one point to paint them like the Joker's melted face paint.[11][12]

  • Concept art for this design was finalized in early 2020, as concept artist Kevin Jenkins handed over the final concept art a few weeks into the Covid-19 lockdown.[13]

An animatronic of the Giganotosaurus was created by John Nolan Studios, which required a practical rig that was 15-20 meters long, weighed 9-25 tons, and took six hours to move from one set to another. A smaller version was made specifically for production meetings.[14][15] According to John, the animatronic was "22 feet high, with a head the size of a transit van, a tongue the size of a surfboard, and eyes a record 12 inches wide."[16] In the same article on AWN.com, he described the head as weighing two tons with the 10-centimeter-thick skin itself weighing a ton. In Jurassic World: The Ultimate Visual History, the animatronic was described as standing "approximately twenty-eight feet tall and would fully interact with the cast [ ] in cat-and-mouse-style stalking."[17]

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