7 Interesting Allosaurus Facts for Kids and Adults

Interesting Allosaurus Facts For Kids and Adults

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Talk of the fiercest dinosaur, and what comes to your mind would be the great Tyrannosaurus Rex. While this might be true pound-for-pound, the 30-foot-long, one-ton Allosaurus may have been the most fearsome meat-eating dinosaur of Mesozoic North America. But then it’s the Tyrannosaurus Rex that gets all the press.

Allosaurus was a large, carnivorous (meat-eating) dinosaur that roamed the world in the late Jurassic/early Cretaceous period, some 155 – 140 million years ago.

There is really so much to know about this terrifying beast. But not to worry, we will discuss some important and very interesting facts about this dinosaur, Allosaurus. Let’s get started, shall we?

Interesting Allosaurus Facts: Background Knowledge

Animatronic Allosaurus dinosaur for Theme Park White & Red

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In the late Jurassic Era, the climate was warm and humid. The land would have been covered with forests, and there would have been no grass or flowers. Open areas would have been covered with ferns and palms, and there really might not have been much pasture and hay for plant-eaters. Hence, dinosaurs that lived during this period were, largely, meat-eaters.

Allosaurus would have lived alongside other Jurassic dinosaurs such as Diplodocus and Stegosaurus. While it was alive, the Allosaurus was one of the largest meat-eating dinosaurs. The formidable – and much heavier – Tyrannosaurus wouldn’t make an appearance until 50 million years later.

T. Rex

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Allosaurus was a theropod. Early theropods were all carnivores like Allosaurus, but they would later evolve into insectivores (insect-eaters), herbivores (plant-eaters), and animals with various other dietary preferences.

Over millions of years – from the late Jurassic to the present day – theropods slowly evolved into birds. If you look out of a window and see a bird, remember what its ancestors looked like!

Interesting Allosaurus Facts: How Was Allosaurus Built?

Allosaurus 2

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Allosaurus was a large bipedal dinosaur. Bipedal means that it stood and walked on two legs. Its hind legs were long and powerful. Its arms, although the gh strong, were much shorter.

At the end of each arm were three curved and pointed claws, which were up to 15 cm (6 in) long.

Allosaurus’ feet had three clawed toes and a further smaller claw further up the foot.

Allosaurus fossil

Source by: nps.gov

Although Allosaurus was quite a bulky dinosaur, scientists think that it was a fast runner. One

Allosaurus fossil has bones that had at one time been broken and had subsequently healed. Scientists believe that the bones may have been damaged in a high-speed pursuit.

Allosaurus jaws contained around 70 teeth. These pointed backward and were serrated to cut through flesh. These teeth were often lost and would grow back.

Allosaurus jaws weren’t particularly strong. It is thought that rather than crushing bones, the jaws and teeth were used for ripping and slicing off the flesh.

Interesting Allosaurus Facts: How Big Was Allosaurus?

Allosaurus (2)

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The biggest Allosaurus specimens are up to 12 meters (39 ft.) long. The average Allosaurus size was around 8.5 m (28 ft.) long.

Allosaurus’ height runs to about 4.5 to 5 m (15 – 16.5 ft.). Allosaurus probably weighed between 1.4 (metric) tonnes (3,000 lb) and 2 (metric) tonnes (4,400 lb). Other estimates are even larger; some scientists think that Allosaurus may have weighed up to 4 tonnes.

Interesting Allosaurus Facts: Allosaurus Name and Fossil

Allosaurus fossil

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The name Allosaurus means ‘different lizard’ in Greek. It was given this name because it had a different type of backbone to other dinosaurs discovered at the time. It was named in 1877 by American paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh.

About the fossils, Allosaurus fossils have been found in the Morrison Formation. This is a large band of sedimentary rock from the Jurassic period. Most of the Morrison Formation occurs in Wyoming and Colorado.

The Cleveland-Lloyd Quarry in Utah is also part of the Morrison Formation. Here, over 12,000 dinosaur bones have been found. Around 67% of these fossils are Allosaurus; scientists think that they come from approximately 44 individuals. This may suggest that Allosaurus hunted in packs.

Perhaps the most famous Allosaurus is ‘Big Al.’ Big Al is the name given to a 97% complete Allosaurus specimen found in 1991 in the Howe Dinosaur Quarry in Shell, Wyoming.

Interesting Allosaurus Facts: Where Did Allosaurus Live?

Allosaurus illustrations

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Nearly all Allosaurus fossils have been found in the USA, with most being found in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. Fossils that may have come from Allosaurus have also been found in Europe (Portugal), North Asia (Siberia) and Africa (Tanzania).

Of course, the world looked very different in the Jurassic era. There were no polar ice caps, and the continents were starting to form into their present-day shapes. The North American continent had only just split from Eurasia.

Interesting Allosaurus Facts: What Did Allosaurus Eat?

Allosaurus diet

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Sauropods, such as this Diplodocus, may have formed part of Allosaurus’ diet. Allosaurus was carnivorous and probably preyed on several other Jurassic dinosaurs. Large sauropods, such as the Barosaurus, may have been on the menu.

Allosaurus may have hunted in packs to bring down the enormous, long-necked dinosaurs. Large numbers of Allosaurus fossils found in one place may be evidence of this.

Allosaurus likely preyed on Stegosaurus. An Allosaurus fossil has been found with a wound probably caused by a Stegosaurus tail spike. A Stegosaurus fossil has been found with injuries probably caused by Allosaurus jaws.

The first fossil (later) identified as Allosaurus was found in Colorado in the mid-19th Century.

Interesting Allosaurus Facts: How Long Did Allosaurs Live?

Three walking allosaurus

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Putting a specific figure on the life span of any given dinosaur is always a complicated matter, but based on the extensive fossil evidence, paleontologists believe Allosaurus attained its full adult size by the age of 15 or so. At this point, it was no longer vulnerable to predation by other large theropods or other hungry Allosaurus adults. Barring disease, starvation, or thagomizer wounds inflicted by angry stegosaurs, this dinosaur may have been capable of living and hunting for another 10 or 15 years. Hence, approximately, Allosaurus may have lived for up to 25 years.

Top 15 Quick Allosaurus Facts for Kids

Allosaurus and Ankylosaurus

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Before we draw the curtains on interesting facts about Allosaurus, here are 15 interesting Allosaurus facts for your young ones.

  1. Allosaurus lived in the late Jurassic period, around 155 – 140 million years ago.
  2. Allosaurus was found in what is now the USA.
  3. Allosaurus walked on two legs.
  4. Allosaurus was carnivorous.
  5. The average Allosaurus was around 8.5 m (28 ft.) long.
  6. Allosaurus was around 4.5 to 5 m (15 – 16.5 ft.) tall.
  7. Allosaurus weighed around 2 tonnes (about the same as a car).
  8. Allosaurus had around 70 pointed teeth which were curved inwards.
  9. The teeth from Allosaurus fossil specimens are on average three to four inches in length.
  10. Paleontologists commonly find allosaurus teeth because they frequently would lose and replace them.
  11. Allosaurus relied more on ripping and cutting to subdue its prey rather than sheer, bone-breaking power.
  12. The most famous Allosaurus is ‘Big Al,’ a near-complete specimen found in Wyoming, US
  13. Based on recovered fossil specimens, paleontologists believe the Allosaurus may have frequently attacked Stegosauruses. A vertebra from an Allosaurus had damage from what appeared to be a Stegosaurus tail. A Stegosaurus neck bone had a bite mark that matched to an Allosaurus.
  14. A 95% complete Allosaurus fossil specimen called Big Al was discovered near Shell, Wyoming, in 1991. In 1996, the same team that found Big Al unearthed another Allosaurus fossil specimen called Big Al Two, and it was more complete than Big Al.
  15. The Allosaurus was the first dinosaur to ever appear in a movie, the 1925 film The Lost World.
a scary allosaurus walking on the ground

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That’s where we call it quit on interesting facts about Allosaurus. Although, this article is not exhaustive, but we believe you now know more about the dinosaur. And about which is more fearsome between the Allosaurus and T. Rex, we will leave you to be the judge of that. Hopefully, someday, we will talk about it.

Now that you’re an Allosaurus expert, you should own one. Don’t worry, you can’t own a live Allosaurus, except the fact that it went extinct millions of years ago; it’s going to be too much of a trouble to house one. But you can house an animatronic Allosaurus or even a dinosaur puppet of it. Just imagine the formidable Allosaurus blinking at you; maybe it’s scary, but definitely, it’s so amusing.

What other facts do you know about Allosaurus?  Let us know in the comment section.  

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