A replica Allosaurus skeleton at a New Zealand museum.
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.
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.
- Superfamily Allosauroidea
- Family Sinraptoridae
- Family Allosauridae
- Family Carcharodontosauridae
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