The Gigantoraptor was one of the largest dinosaurs that ever lived. It was an oviraptorid belonging to the theropod group of dinosaurs. Living in present-day Asia during the Upper Cretaceous, about 95-105 million years ago. It was a bipedal carnivore with long legs and a long tail. It used its beak and teeth for tearing flesh, and claws on its hands and feet to grasp prey.

Key Facts about the Gigantoraptor

Gigantoraptor pronunciationGee-gan-to-rap-tor.
What does Gigantoraptor mean?Giant Thief
Dinosaur typeTheropods
On the menuOmnivore
Length26 feet (8 meters)
Height11 feet (3.5 meters)
Weight5000 lbs (2.2 tons)
Life expectancyUnknown
Legs used to get aroundBipedal
Estimated top speed25 mph
When they livedUpper Cretaceous period
Where they have been found?Mongolia, China

When & Where

The first remains of the Gigantoraptor were found in 2006 in the Nemegt Basin of Mongolia. The accidental discovery was aimed at reenacting the discovery of the Sonidosaurus for a Japanese documentary. As they were filming, Chinese paleontologist Xu Xing discovered that the thigh bone they had unearthed belonged to a theropod instead of a sauropod. At a glance, the bone appeared similar to an Albertosaurus, but further, inspection revealed that it was actually from a new genus and species of oviraptorosaur.

In 2007, the Gigantoraptor was formally named Gigantoraptor erlianensis, referring to the Erlian Basin where it was found.

Size & Weight

The Gigantoraptor was one of the largest raptors, measuring up to 26 feet in length and weighing up to 2 tons. It was significantly larger than other dromaeosaurids, such as Deinonychus and Utahraptor. It was also one of the largest theropods, comparable in size to some titanosaurs. That said, the Gigantoraptor is known from a single specimen, which was discovered in Mongolia in 2005. The Gigantoraptor specimen is the only known individual of its species.

Mobility & Diet

It was a bipedal dino with long, powerful legs and feet. It had sharp claws on its hands and feet, which it used to hunt and kill its prey. They probably had good eyesight and hearing, which helped them find food and avoid predators.

The Gigantoraptor was an omnivore that probably fed on plant-eating dinosaurs and small animals. The dinosaurs lived in herds, which helped protect them from predators and scout for food. While archaeologists have confirmed that this dino was a herbivore, the sharp jaws also show that it occasionally ate meat.

Interesting Points

  • The Gigantoraptor was a massive feathered dinosaur that roamed the earth during the Cretaceous period.
  • Despite its size, the Gigantoraptor is thought to have been a fast and agile runner, reaching speeds of up to 25 mph.
  • Gigantoraptor is also thought to have been a proficient tree-climber, using its long arms and clawed hands to grasp branches and pull itself up into the canopy.
  • This dinosaur has long legs like an ostrich and has the same appearance as Therizinosaurs and Ornithomimids.

Featured Image Credit: PaleoNeolitic, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons