Top 20 Deadliest Dinosaurs Ever in History

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Dinosaurs are a group of prehistoric reptiles that first appeared during the late Triassic Period around 243 to 247 million years ago. Triassic–Jurassic extinction event made dinosaurs dominant terrestrial vertebrates throughout the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Since their extinction about 66 million years ago, dinosaurs have been a subject of great interest for researchers, historians, and academics.

Based on the credible information collected from reliable sources, we have listed the world’s 20 deadliest dinosaurs. Enlighten yourself about different ways these extinct animals used to create havoc on other faunas of the Mesozoic Era.

Paleontologists can benefit from this article by knowing key details about these deadliest dinosaurs ever, like:

  • Scientific Classification
  • Temporal Range
  • Size and Weight
  • Original Fossils
  • Discoverer
  • The Year of Discovery

Let’s start exploring the list.

1. Spinosaurus

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Temporal Range: 99-93.5 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 4.3 to 7 m

Mass: 6400 to 7500 kg

Family: Spinosauridae

Discoverer: Ernst Stromer

The Year of Discovery: 1915

Recognized as the world’s first swimming dinosaur, the Northern African Spinosaurus was the largest carnivorous dinosaur on this planet. With an approximate weight of 10 tons, this predator had large crocodile-like jaws that were used to pin the fish from deep rivers. The average size of one Spinosaurus was almost equal to one and a half double-decker bus in London.

Spinosaurus was so dangerous that it used to even terrorize small-sized land-bound dinosaurs with its cruel set of claws as well as gigantic crocodile Sarcosuchus. The vertebrae of Spinosaurus were supposed to be 20 times those of T-rex. Likewise, its gigantic sail of skin had long spines protruding from its back making it one of the powerful dinosaurs in the world.

2. Stegosaurus

Stegosaurus

( source by: Wiki)

Temporal Range: 155-150 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 6.5 to 9 m

Mass: 3100 kg

Family: Stegosauridae

Discoverer: Othniel Charles Marsh

The Year of Discovery: 1877

This small-headed and plant-eater dinosaur is regarded among the world’s strongest dinosaurs despite its small brain. The most attractive aspect of this herbivore is its unique body, which gets the attention of visitors due to a dangerously spiked tail on top. Stegosaurus would use this tail to bash the skull of its enemies and scare small creatures.

These quadrupeds had short forelimbs and long hind limbs. The distinctive combination tail tipped with spikes was used for defense against predators while the upright plates were used for thermoregulatory functions. Despite its low brain-to-body mass ratio, the size of Stegosaurus can be related to gigantic dinosaurs like Huayangosaurus and Kentrosaurus.

3. Velociraptor

Velociraptor

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Temporal Range: 75-71 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 0.5 to 2 m

Mass: 15 kg

Family: Dromaeosauridae

Discoverer: Henry Fairfield Osborn

The Year of Discovery: 1924

Velociraptor has been made very popular among people by Jurassic Park for being the star of the infamous kitchen scene. Despite their smaller size, velociraptors were used to create havoc with a paid or deadly sickle curved toe claw on each foot. Unlike portrayed in the films, velociraptors were very fast predators in real life and looked like birds.

What made velociraptors the deadliest dinosaurs was their agility and intelligence coupled with their non-reptilian appearance and hook-like claws. Velociraptors would like to hunt in packs and use their massive claws to grasp the escaping victims.

4. Utahraptor

Utahraptor

( source by: Wiki)

Temporal Range: 139-134.6 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 1.8 to 2 m

Mass: 300 to 1000 kg

Family: Dromaeosauridae

Discoverer: Kirkland, Gaston & Burge

The Year of Discovery: 1993

The mighty Utahraptor is known for its sheer killing ability and large size. Equipped with approximately 9″ long and incredibly sharp claws and razor-sharp teeth, this raptor was very lethal capable of tearing its prey to death in seconds. Besides, Utahraptor had a superfast top sprinting speed that increased its ability to maneuver and hunt in packs.

In addition to having sick-shaped claws on each hind foot, Utahraptor had unusually thick leg bones that would help him to repeatedly drive the killing claw into its prey. The body structure and gigantic size of this predator was a symbol of horror for other dinosaurs too.

5. Carcharodontosaurus

Carcharodontosaurus-1

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Temporal Range: 100-93 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 8 to 14 m

Mass: 6000 to 15000 kg

Family: Carcharodontosauridae

Discoverer: Ernst Stromer

The Year of Discovery: 1935

Carcharodontosaurus is included in the list of the most powerful dinosaurs not only for its characteristics but for its name that means shark-toothed lizard. Despite having smaller arms, the raptor had 20-cm-long serrated teeth in its jaw that could slice through flesh like switchblades. Carcharodontosaurus would like wounding, beating, and eventually tearing its prey to death by using its long teeth.

Having a skull size equal to that of a person, Carcharodontosaurus had a smaller brain. However, its powerful legs enabled it to run at 32 km/h. This speed was enough to outrun T-rex and other predators of that era.

6. Tyrannosaurus rex

Tyrannosaurus-rex

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Temporal Range: 68-66 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 3.7 to 4.1 m

Mass: 4500 to 14000 kg

Family: Tyrannosauridae

Discoverer: Henry Fairfield Osborn

The Year of Discovery: 1905

There would hardly be any dino-lover in the world who is non-familiar with Tyrannosaurus rex (T-rex). Known as the ultimate carnivore, very lethal, intelligent, the predator was the most badass dinosaur ever in history. The meaning of its name is tyranted lizard king, which shows it can be considered the king of dinosaur’s community.

The fierce and scary Tyrannosaurus rex used to hunt live prey or feast on already-dead carcasses. Weighing almost double that of an Asian elephant, the raptor had deadly bacteria in its saliva to ensure the prey gets killed even after a successful escape. T-rex would then use its 18,000-pound-per-square-inch bite to finish the things off. 

7. Mapusaurus

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Temporal Range: 70-66 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 6 to 8 m

Mass: 1100 kg

Family: Abelisauridae

Discoverer: Charles Depéret

The Year of Discovery: 1896

Majungasaurus is one of the few known cannibals with a unique skull different from other theropods. Known as a bad-lizard, the raptor would like killing its prey by holding firmly in its telltale teeth and biting to death. Its dental patterns were found on Majungasaurus bones in Madagascar, which is considered its native island.

Majungasaurus was such a ruthless killed that it even feasted on its own kin. Nevertheless, it could not be found whether they used to hunt live or feast the already-dead relatives.

8. Majungasaurus

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Temporal Range: 97-93.5 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 10 to 13 m

Mass: 3,000 kg

Family: Carcharodontosauridae

Discoverer: Coria & Currie

The Year of Discovery: 2006

With its appearance, Mapusaurus looks similar to its close cousin Giganotosaurus. Paleontologists believe Mapusaurus was so lethal that it has hunted all the powerful dinosaurs that ever lived on earth. Besides, direct scientific evidence suggests this ferocious carnivorous predator was 30 feet long and used to hunt in packs.

Mapusaurus has narrow blade-like teeth that were used to slice that prey before tearing it apart. Their close coordination while hunting in groups is attributed to additional strength for extra lethality.

9. Allosaurus

deadliest-Allosaurus

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Temporal Range: 155-145 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 5 to 12 m

Mass: 1000 to 4000 kg

Family: Allosauridae

Discoverer: Othniel Charles Marsh

The Year of Discovery: 1878

Allosaurus, with its ability to take down prey twice the size of T-rex, is considered among the most deadliest dinosaurs of the Jurassic. This strong-jawed, ambitious, and fearsome three-ton carnivore having sharp serrated teeth. The three-fingered hands of this fierce meat-eater were tipped with massive talons to capture the prey firmly.

Nevertheless, paleontologists believe Allosaurus was not very smart. One of their groups even died by salivating already-trapped and struggling prey in Utah.

10. Giganotosaurus

Giganotosaurus

( source by: Wiki)

Temporal Range: 99.6-99.5 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 12 to 13 m

Mass: 4200 to 14000 kg

Family: Carcharodontosauridae

Discoverer: Coria & Salgado

The Year of Discovery: 1995

Known as the South American cousin of Carcharodontosaurus, the bigger and fiercer Giganotosaurus was a three-fingered predator to rival T-rex in size and body structure. Giganotosaurus had approximately 8-10 tons and was close to one of the biggest dinosaurs on earth, Argentinosaurus.

Giganotosaurus’s superior balance gave it a high speed and ability to take down even full-grown titanosaur adults. The overlook appearance was itself very scary and enough to terrorize small-sized dinosaurs.

11. Ankylosaurus

Ankylosaurus

( source by: artifact)

Temporal Range: 70-66 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 1.7 m

Mass: 4800 to 8000 kg

Family: Ankylosauridae

Discoverer: Barnum Brown

The Year of Discovery: 1908

Some people might not consider the herbivore Ankylosaurus deadly, but this armored dinosaur had a knobby hundred-pound tail that was used both for defense and attack purposes. This heavy tail was Ankylosaurus’ strength and could generate enough force to crush the enemy’s bones once swung around.

Experts believe Ankylosaurus could cause massive damage to the T-rex by a well-aimed swing of its massive tail. This ability was enough to create havoc and maintain its fierceness in the region.

12. Saurophaganax

Saurophaganax

( source by: Wiki)

Temporal Range: 150 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 10 to 13 m

Mass: 3000 to 45000 kg

Family: Allosauridae

Discoverer: Chure

The Year of Discovery: 1995

Saurophaganax; called the lord of lizard-eaters; was the largest Jurassic theropod and the longest terrestrial carnivore species of all time. With an approximate size of 12-13 meters, Saurophaganax is known to be a part of the Morrison Formation.

Saurophaganax was powerful enough that it could hunt any dinosaur available in its area. Due to its large size and scary appearance, the predator would eat large sauropods and heavily armored stegosaur. Nevertheless, it has had a dangerous competition for food due to the presence of several deadliest predators like Ceratosaurus, Acrocanthosaurus, and Edmark. 

13. Diplodocus

Diplodocus

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Temporal Range: 154-152 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 8 to 27 m

Mass: 22,680 kg

Family: Diplodocidae

Discoverer: Othniel Charles Marsh

The Year of Discovery: 1878

By the first look, you must be thinking Diplodocus doesn’t appear to be dangerous or deadly. However, the reality behind this long-necked, gentle, and herbivore predator of the late Jurassic period is very interesting and scary.

Diplodocus indeed seems to be friendly, but a 20-foot-long tail enabled this 100-foot dinosaur to crack the enemies at hypersonic speeds. In addition to its squishing its enemies with a well-placed stomp of its hind foot, Diplodocus was very good at approaching the preys at gigantic heights.

14. Deinonychus

Deinonychus

( source by: Wiki)

Temporal Range: 115-108 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 3.4 m

Mass: 73 to 100 kg

Family: Dromaeosauridae

Discoverer: John Ostrom

The Year of Discovery: 1969

For years, dinosaurs were thought to be languid and lumbering due to their gigantic size and weight. However, the perception was overhauled with the discovery of Deinonychus, which was a quick-witted pack hunter specifically built for speedy pursuit.

Despite twice the size of Velociraptor, Deinonychus has interlocking vertebrae that enabled the predator to balance its stiffed tail while running. Besides, the prey was disemboweled in its jaw, hands, and retractable toe-claws. Whenever an opportunity arose, Deinonychus would strike on the enemy and chop the prey till death.

15. Troodon

Troodon1

( source by: Wiki)

Temporal Range: 77.5-76.5 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 90 cm

Mass: 50 kg

Family: Troodontidae

Discoverer: Charles W. Gilmore

The Year of Discovery: 1924

Deadliness can never be judged by a predator’s appearance, and Troodon proves this statement right. This 1.3 meter tall and 40-kg tiny dinosaur had the brain-to-body-weight ratio due to its lack of brawn. The nascent signs of folding in Troodon’s brain make it the most neurologically advanced specimen with efficient brain functioning.

This body structure and composition allowed Troodon to run with greater speed and agility. Thanks to its huge orb-like eyes that enabled it to hunt nocturnally and see in low-lighting conditions. A group of sharp-minded and agile Troodons could bring down gigantic and powerful dinosaurs with their intelligence and superior vision.

16. Coelophysis

Carnotaurus-

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Temporal Range: 216-196 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 2 m

Mass: 18 to 23 kg

Family: Coelophysidae

Discoverer: Cope

The Year of Discovery: 1887

This light-weight and tiny dinosaur is another example of intelligence overcoming physical strength and might appearance. Weighing only around 44 pounds, Coeplophysis was quite agile and able to take action quickly. They used their boasted blade-like cutting teeth to chop their prey into pieces.

To overcome their small size, Coeplophysis used to hunt in organized groups with proper planning. This way, they could meet their objectives and attack their prey even before anyone settles down. Moreover, they often took advantage of their small size by hiding in small areas and striking the enemies at the right time.

17. Carnotaurus

Carnotaurus

( source by: Wiki)

Temporal Range: 71 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 8 to 9 m

Mass: 1000 to 3000 kg

Family: Abelisauridae

Discoverer: José Bonaparte

The Year of Discovery: 1985

Believed to be a distant cousin of the T-Rex, Carnotaurus had smaller arms with two horns on its head. It used its muscular neck in hunting and fighting conspecifics. Likewise, the distinctive horns were used as hunting weapons to injure or kill small prey. Evidence suggests Carnotaurus used to combat each other with head blows or by using their horns as shock absorbers.

Carnotaurus was so powerful that it could hunt down very large prey. Despite less developed hearing and sight, the predator had an acute sense of smell along with powerful muscles that helped him run fast without losing balance. 

18. Tarbosaurus

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( source by: Wiki)

Temporal Range: 70 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 10 to 12 m

Mass: 4000 to 5000 kg

Family: Tyrannosauridae

Discoverer: Maleev

The Year of Discovery: 1955

Tarbosaurus was considered the most dangerous and powerful predator in the late Jurassic period capable of defeating the velociraptor or utahraptor. Being the second-largest member of the T-Rex family, Tarbosaurus was equipped with 60 large teeth and smaller forelimbs.

It has been added to the list of the deadliest dinosaurs because of its unique locking mechanism in its lower jaw, which allowed it to firmly grasp its prey and run fast. Besides, they were crepuscular or nocturnal hunters and used to hunt large dinosaurs in the area.

19. Megaraptor

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( source by: Wiki)

Temporal Range: 91-88 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 8 m

Mass: 1000 kg

Family: Megaraptoridae

Discoverer: Fernando Novas

The Year of Discovery: 1998

Megaraptor was a 26-feet dinosaur with the ability to take down even dilophosaurus. With an approximate weight of over 200 pounds, the predator is a successful hunter for having a single sickle-shaped foot claw of about 30 centimeters in length.

Megaraptor used its unusually elongated hands and claws to attack its enemies and capture its prey. The unique structure of its body supported by heavyweight offered strong defensive capabilities to the raptor enabling it to create havoc in the area.

20. Acrocanthosaurus

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( source by: Wiki)

Temporal Range: 116-110 million years

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Size: 11.5 m

Mass: 5700 to 6200 kg

Family: Carcharodontosauridae

Discoverer: Stovall & Langston

The Year of Discovery: 1950

As the name suggests, Acrocanthosaurus refers to a high-spined lizard for having high neural spines on its vertebrae supported by a ridge of muscle over its back, neck, and hips. Having an average length of 11.5 meters, Acrocanthosaurus was most likely an apex predator.

Although Acrocanthosaurus was unable to swing its forelimbs forward very far, it used its mouth for hunting its prey. After seizing the prey in its jaws, the predator would strongly retract its heavily muscled forelimbs to prevent the prey from escape and tear large gashes with its claws.

Conclusion

The history of dinosaurs has been full of interesting facts about the behavior, living habitat, and body structure of these extinct animals. Having been lived on the earth millions of years ago, the predators would terrorize other creatures with their unprecedented characteristics and features.

To enlighten the readers about some unique qualities of these animals, this article briefly presented the top 20 deadliest dinosaurs across history. The predators enlisted in this study are Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus, Velociraptor, Utahraptor, Carcharodontosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex, Mapusaurus, Majungasaurus, Allosaurus, Giganotosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Saurophaganax, Diplodocus, Deinonychus, Troodon, Coelophysis, Carnotaurus, Tarbosaurus, Megaraptor, and Acrocanthosaurus.

If you are interested in getting more information about the deadliest dinosaurs ever, visit this page.

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