Dinosaurs
Allosaurus
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The Allosaurus was one of the largest predators of its time.

What did they look like?
The Allosaurus was a large carnivorous dinosaur that walked on two legs and had
two arms on the front of its body. This dinosaur could grow to be 12 metres long (38
feet) 5 metres tall (16.5 feet) and weigh up to about 1.4 tonnes (3086 lbs)! This
dinosaur had a very long head, 90cm (3 ft), with many 5 to 10 cm teeth. The
Allosaurus did not look like the other dinosaurs that existed at that time. Because
of this, the word Allosaurus means "different lizard".

The Allosaurus is in the theropod (meaning "beast foot") family. Allosaurus had two
arms. Its arms were longer than those of the T.Rex with large wicked claws.
Allosaurus was bipedal.

Allosaurus had 2 crests above its eyes which may have been used for mating
display.

What did they eat?
Allosaurus were carnivorous dinosaurs. Allosaurus hunted in small groups which
allowed them to take down even the largest prey. They even ate the gigantic
Apatosaurus (which used to be called Brontosaurus) even though the Apatosaurus
was more than three times the size of an Allosaurus. The Allosaurus was also likely
to have hunted
Stegosaurus, and Iguanodonts such as Camptosaurus.

Young baby Allosaurus might have eaten insects like dragonflies and centipedes,
and other small animals. When about two years old, Allosaurus might have eaten
small dinosaurs (Othnielia, Dryosaurs and so on).
Allosaurs competed for food with ceratosaurs when they first arrived but may
have eventually driven the ceratosaurs to extinction. Allosaurus's teeth were thin
and serrated not made to puncture bone but to strip bits of meat off a carcus.
Often Allosaurus left pieces of meat on the bone which other predators like
Ornithelestes would scavenge

When did they live?
Like all dinosaurs, Allosaurus lived in the Mesozoic era mezzo means middle so
Allosaurus lived in the middle era. They lived in that era's late Jurassic period,
between about 154 and 115 million years ago.

Where did they live?
Allosaurus was a very common dinosaur around 135 million years ago. It lived on
the land that now makes up the USA and Portugal. A major discovery was made in
Colorado when a rancher named M. P. Felch discovered an almost perfect
skeleton of an Allosaurus. They have also been found in Africa, which was
connected to North America by a land bridge at the time. There is a site in Utah
where the fossils of more than 40 allosaurs have been found. Some close relatives
lived in Asia.

Allosaurus probably lived on the plains and lowlands where groups could hunt
easily. Some allosaurs lived in Europe. There is proof that Allosaurus lived in
wetlands. On find in Utah shows that a "predator trap" may have made plant
eating dinosaurs trapped in sticky mud, and the allosaurs wanted an easy snack,
but they soon were caught, and died one by one. More than 50 allosaurs were
found.

How were they discovered?
The first fossil of an Allosaurus to be discovered was found in the USA state of
Colorado, in 1869. At first, the people who found it thought it was a petrified horse
hoof instead of a dinosaur bone. In 1991 a complete Allosaurus skeleton was
discovered. This Allosaurus was named "Big Al". When scientists looked at the
skeleton they discovered that "Big Al" was actually an Allosaurus teenager. They
also discovered that this young Allosaurus was about 8 meters (26 feet) long! "Big
Al" was made famous by a TV programme called The Ballad of Big Al also called
Walking with Dinosaurs: Allosaurus. This program showed what Big Al's life could
have been like.


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