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Temporal range: Late Jurassic
|An artist's illustration of Allosaurus fragilis|
| †Allosaurus fragilis|
Allosaurus (al·lo·saur·us) (al-OH-sore-US) (March, 1877) meaning, "different, other-lizard", is arguably one of the most well known Jurassic predators known, growing to about 28 feet (8.5 meters) on average. It had a large skull with eye ridges, and claws designed for gripping. Its diet may have included many different dinosaurs, mainly smaller ones such as the Dryosaurus and Camptosaurus, but in packs it may have hunted the stegosaurid Stegosaurus, and even young sauropods.
There are currently three species of Allosaurus known: A. fragilis, A. europaeus and A. lucasi.
Allosaurus was certainly not the only apex predator in the Jurassic, as it would have to compete against bigger predators, such as Torvosaurus and Saurophaganax. However, it's weak bite force is misleading. It's skull would have been used almost like a hatchet to smack down on prey, causing heavy bleeding. It couldn't take down sauropods, but it was the perfect predator for smaller prey items. Smaller prey such as Dryosaurus and Camptosaurus would be ideal because Allosaurus was speedy with a "hatchet" mouth that could cause bleeding, and the smaller animals would bleed out quicker.
One particularly well-preserved specimen, nicknamed "Big Al", was found not too long ago in Wyoming. While Allosaurus was a hunter, it was also a scavenger (like all predators). It would find dead animals or animals dying to feast on. "Big Al" had many different injuries from throughout its short, seven year life, yet surviving all but the last one, an infected toe wound. This would have left the animal unable to hunt, and it would have starved and/or died of thirst.
Allosaurus' skull was double hinged. This allowed it to open its mouth extremely wide, allowing it to have a huge bite radius. One hinge was near the front of the jaw like a snake's, and the other was near the back of the jawbone. However, recent studies seem to show that Allosaurus had a relatively low bite force, much less than the value of sharks and crocodiles and even inferior to that of most big cats, despite being much bigger.
It seems that Allosaurus attacked like an axe, using its double-hinged jaw to open really wide and dropping the top part of its skull into its prey with a large amount of pressure while holding it steady with its strong arms.A constant repetition of this method would have led to a massive amount of blood loss and shock. It was a very efficient way of killing, and it's probably why Allosaurus was so successful as a hunter.
In Popular Culture
Allosaurus fragilis has appeared multiple times in the famous Walking With Dinosaurs series. It was featured in the special, The Ballad of Big Al.Allosaurus fragilis has been featured in three episodes of the History Channel series Jurassic Fight Club fighting two Ceratosaurus as three Allosaurus attack a Stegosaurus, however one gets killed as a herd of Camarasaurus come to drink the water but one gets stuck, as it gets the Allosaurus's attention.
Allosaurus can also be found in the Dinosaur Digs expansion pack for the popular PC game, Zoo Tycoon.
Allosaurus can be created in the Jurassic Park section of Jurassic Park: Builder. John Hammond says it is his favorite dinosaur.
Allosaurus can be created in the park in Jurassic World: The Game as a rare dinosaur.
"Allosaurus tendagurensis" has also been featured in the Jurassic Park park-builder sim Operation Genesis. While classified as an Allosaurus for years, the most recent analysis has placed Allosaurus tendagurensis in Carcharodontosauridae.
Allosaurus appears in the game Dino Crisis 2 as a mid-game rival and in the arena as a fighter. Allosaurus also appears in Dinosaur King and Dinosaur Master.
Allosaurus europaeus appears in Dinosaur Revolution. The main allosaur in the show has its jaw broken by the tail of a Dinheirosaurus (now synonim with Supersaurus). It also was shown to attack a Torvosaurus despite the size difference.
Allosaurus fragilis appears in Planet Dinosaur where it fails on its first hunt for a Stegosaurus. It later kills a Camptosaurus, but unfortunately a Saurophaganax steals its prey.
Allosaurus has only appeared in The Land Before Time VI: the Secret of Saurus Rock, where she serves as the main antagonist of the film.
In Power Rangers Dino Charge There is a crimson colored Allosaurus themed Dino Charger also known as the Dino Blaze Charger.
The Allosaurus appears in Dino Hunter: Deadly Shores in Region 2 - Jungle Mists. It also has a Trophy Hunt variant named "Lizard Eater".