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Giganotosaurus vs. Tyrannosaurus: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Giganotosaurus was slightly larger, lived in South America; Tyrannosaurus was robust, lived in North America.
Giganotosaurus vs. Tyrannosaurus

Key Differences

Giganotosaurus, a massive dinosaur, lived approximately 98 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period. Tyrannosaurus, one of the most well-known dinosaurs, roamed North America about 68-66 million years ago during the same period. While Giganotosaurus is known for its size, potentially larger than Tyrannosaurus, it had a lighter, more elongated skull.
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Tyrannosaurus rex, often simply called T. rex, was one of the last non-avian dinosaur species before the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event. Giganotosaurus, discovered in Argentina in the mid-1990s, is not as well-researched or recognized as Tyrannosaurus, which has been a staple of popular culture since its discovery in the early 20th century.
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The Giganotosaurus is thought to have preyed on large sauropods, while the Tyrannosaurus is often depicted as a top predator, hunting hadrosaurs and ceratopsians. Despite Giganotosaurus's potentially larger size, Tyrannosaurus had one of the strongest bite forces of any land animal, an advantage in subduing prey and a factor in its fame.
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In terms of skeletal structure, Giganotosaurus's bones suggest it was built for speed, with strong legs and a leaner build compared to Tyrannosaurus, which had a more robust structure. The latter's massive tail, muscular neck, and powerful legs indicate a build capable of delivering powerful blows to its prey.
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Fossils of Giganotosaurus are not as abundant as those of Tyrannosaurus, which has led to a richer fossil record and more extensive study of the Tyrannosaurus's behavior, growth, and possible feather coverage. Meanwhile, Giganotosaurus's lifestyle and behavior remain more speculative due to the limited number of specimens.
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Comparison Chart

Time Period

Lived 98 million years ago
Lived 68-66 million years ago
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Location

South America
North America
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Size

Slightly larger
Slightly smaller but more robust
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Skull Shape

Lighter and more elongated
Heavier and designed for powerful bites
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Diet

Likely preyed on large sauropods
Predominantly a generalist predator
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Discovery

Mid-1990s in Argentina
Early 20th century in North America
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Fossil Abundance

Less abundant
More abundant
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Cultural Presence

Not as prominent in popular culture
Highly prominent in media and popular culture
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Physical Build

Built for speed, with a leaner build
Robust build, with powerful legs
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Predatory Behavior

Less understood due to fewer fossils
Better understood, considered a top predator
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Giganotosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Definitions

Giganotosaurus

Potentially the apex predator of its ecosystem.
The Giganotosaurus may have hunted even the massive Argentinosaurus.
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Tyrannosaurus

A massive carnivorous dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous.
The Tyrannosaurus rex was a fearsome predator.
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Giganotosaurus

A large theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous.
The Giganotosaurus is one of the largest meat-eating dinosaurs ever discovered.
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Tyrannosaurus

Characterized by its large skull and short arms.
The Tyrannosaurus's tiny arms are as iconic as its massive jaws.
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Giganotosaurus

Less popular in media than its North American counterpart.
Giganotosaurus has not been featured in movies as often as Tyrannosaurus.
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Tyrannosaurus

Famous for its powerful bite and standing as a cultural icon.
Tyrannosaurus fossils are prized for their scientific and cultural significance.
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Giganotosaurus

Discovered in Argentina, known for its formidable size.
Giganotosaurus roamed what is now South America.
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Tyrannosaurus

One of the last dinosaur species before the mass extinction.
The Tyrannosaurus lived at the very end of the age of dinosaurs.
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Giganotosaurus

Its name means 'giant southern lizard'.
Giganotosaurus's name reflects its discovery in the southern hemisphere.
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Tyrannosaurus

Often referred to as T. rex, a staple of dinosaur representation in media.
The T. rex has a starring role in numerous dinosaur-themed films.
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Giganotosaurus

A very large carnivorous theropod dinosaur of the genus Giganotosaurus of the Cretaceous Period, having a massive skull and large teeth.
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Tyrannosaurus

Any of various tyrannosaurid dinosaurs of the genus Tyrannosaurus, having a large head and teeth and short forelimbs, and including T. rex and possibly some other species. Also called tyrannosaur.
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Giganotosaurus

Any of several very large, carnivorous dinosaurs of the subfamily Giganotosaurinae, from the Cretaceous period.
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Tyrannosaurus

See T. rex.
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Tyrannosaurus

A large carnivorous dinosaur, of the genus Tyrannosaurus, found in North America during the late Cretaceous period.
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Tyrannosaurus

Large carnivorous bipedal dinosaur having enormous teeth with knifelike serrations; may have been a scavenger rather than an active predator; later Cretaceous period in North America
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

When did Giganotosaurus live?

About 98 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous.
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What did Giganotosaurus eat?

It was likely a carnivore that preyed on large dinosaurs.
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What does Tyrannosaurus mean?

It means "tyrant lizard."
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How was Giganotosaurus discovered?

It was discovered in Argentina in the 1990s.
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Where are Tyrannosaurus fossils found?

Primarily in North America.
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What does Giganotosaurus mean?

It means "giant southern lizard."
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How do the teeth of Giganotosaurus compare to Tyrannosaurus?

Giganotosaurus had sharp, serrated teeth for slicing, while T. rex had robust teeth for crushing.
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Is Giganotosaurus the largest dinosaur?

It's one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs, but not the largest dinosaur overall.
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How big was Tyrannosaurus?

Up to around 40 feet in length.
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How strong was Tyrannosaurus's bite?

T. rex had one of the strongest bites of any land animal ever.
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What did Tyrannosaurus eat?

It was a carnivorous predator, possibly scavenging as well.
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Are Giganotosaurus and Tyrannosaurus related?

They are both theropods, but not closely related within that group.
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When did Tyrannosaurus live?

Between 68 and 66 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous.
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Could Giganotosaurus run fast?

It's believed to have been capable of running relatively fast for its size.
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Was Tyrannosaurus intelligent?

Its brain size suggests it was more intelligent than many other dinosaurs.
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Did Giganotosaurus hunt in packs?

There's some speculation about this, but it's not definitively known.
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What is the iconic feature of Tyrannosaurus?

Its massive head and jaws, and proportionally small arms.
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Did Tyrannosaurus have feathers?

Some evidence suggests T. rex might have had feathers, at least during some part of its life.
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How many fossils of Giganotosaurus have been found?

Only a few relatively complete specimens have been discovered.
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Where in Argentina was Giganotosaurus found?

In the Patagonia region.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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