Fossil range: JurassicCretaceous
A replica Allosaurus skeleton at a New Zealand museum.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosaur
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Infraorder: Carnosauria
von Huene, 1920

Carnosaurs were large predatory dinosaurs that lived during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The best known dinosaur in this group is Allosaurus. Recently, scientists have discovered some very large carnosaurians in the carcharodontosaurid group such as Giganotosaurus and Tyrannotitan which may have grown to larger sizes than the famous coelurosaur Tyrannosaurus.

Their defining characterisitics include large eyes, a long narrow skull and modifications of the legs and pelvis such as the thigh (femur) being longer than the shin (tibia).

Traditional "Carnosaurs"

Carnosauria has traditionally been used as a dumping ground for all large theropods, but analysis in the 1980s and 1990s revealed that other than size, the group shared very few characteristics. Most former carnosaurs were reclassified as more primitive theropods; or were placed in Coelurosauria if they were more closely related to birds, like the tyrannosaurids. Other former "carnosaurs" include the megalosaurids, the spinosaurids, and the ceratosaurs. Even non-dinosaurs have been considered carnosaurs, such as the rauisuchian Teratosaurus.

Modern cladistic analysis defines Carnosauria as those dinosaurs sharing a more recent common ancestor with Allosaurus than with modern birds [1].

Carnosaur Species

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