Saurophaganax Facts

Saurophaganax Facts
Saurophaganax was a type of large theropod dinosaur. It lived in North America 155 to 150 million years ago (late Jurassic). Partial remains of Saurophaganax were discovered during the 1930s in Oklahoma and described few years later. Aside from Oklahoma, bones of Saurophaganax were also found in New Mexico. Saurophaganax lived in woodlands, but it wasn't very numerous (at least not like other, smaller species of carnivorous dinosaurs that lived at the same time). Fossils of Saurophaganax are rarely found in the wild. Facts about morphology and lifestyle of this dinosaur are based on the few bones that were found so far.
Interesting Saurophaganax Facts:
Saurophaganax was 40 feet long and it had 3 to 4 tons of weight.
Saurophaganax was the largest predator that lived during Jurassic period, which is probably the main reason why this species of dinosaur wasn't very numerous. Large dinosaurs had enormous appetite and they had to eat huge amount of food (meat) to provide energy for their metabolic needs. That's why they were often restricted to small populations to prevent exhaustion of available sources of food.
Saurophaganax was shaped like Allosaurus, but it was much bigger in size. Due to similarities between the bones of these two types of dinosaurs, some paleontologists believe that Saurophaganax is actually a new species of Allosaurus.
Main differences between Saurophaganax and Allosaurus are in the anatomy of vertebrae in the neck and tail.
Saurophaganax had giant teeth and strong arms equipped with sharp claws.
Like in modern lizards, skin of Saurophaganax was covered with scales.
Name "Saurophaganax" means "lizard-eating master". Name refers to the eating habits of this dinosaur.
Saurophaganax was initially named Saurophagus in 1941. Few years later, it was discovered that name "Saurophagus" has been already occupied. Saurophagus is genus of tyrant-flycatcher (type of bird), described in the 19th century. In 1995, name Saurophagus was officially changed to Saurophaganax.
Saurophaganax walked on two legs (bipedal animal).
Saurophaganax was a carnivore. Its diet was probably based on small and large herbivorous dinosaurs such as Diplodocus, Apatosaurus and Stegosaurus.
Some researchers believe that Saurophaganax was also a scavenger. It waited for other predators to kill their prey and then used its huge size (primary source of strength and dominance) to chase them away from the carrion.
Researchers still debate whether Saurophaganax was solitary or social creature. It is unknown whether Saurophaganax was able to gather in groups of two or more or was it a solitary hunter.
Aside from Allosaurus and Saurophaganax, list of ferocious carnivorous dinosaurs of Jurassic period also includes Torvosaurus, Ceratosaurus and Stokesosaurus.
Saurophaganax is official state dinosaur of Oklahoma.
Saurophaganax is featured in the animated movie Dinosaur King and documentary movie Planet Dinosaur.


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