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Allosaurus Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

The Allosaurus was a huge, meat-eating dinosaur that lived during the late Jurassic period about 145 million years ago. Learn facts about the Allosaurus and where scientists found fossil remains of this big dinosaur.

What is an Allosaurus?

Imagine stepping into a time machine that carries you back 145 million years ago. Your time machine lands in the state of Wyoming, where many dinosaurs were known to roam the Earth, like the Allosaurus.

The Allosaurus was a very large dinosaur.
Allosaurus

The Allosaurus was a big dinosaur with a huge mouth that lived during the late Jurassic Period. The name Allosaurus comes from the Greek language and means 'different lizard' or 'strange lizard.' These dinosaurs were common in the plains and flat lands of North America, which includes the United States.

What Did an Allosaurus Look Like and What Did It Eat?

If you were walking through the grasslands of Wyoming 145 million years ago, you might have come across a nest of Allosaurus eggs. Many dinosaurs, like the Allosaurus, laid eggs instead of giving birth to live babies.

An adult Allosaurus grew to be 30 to 40 feet long, so a big one was almost as long as your school bus. The dinosaurs could weigh about two tons or more, which would certainly make the ground shake when they walked by.

The Allosaurus had a big jaw and sharp teeth.
Allosaurus

An Allosaurus had powerful hind legs to walk on and strong front legs that were smaller, but equipped with sharp claws. It had a large head that was about three feet long. Its large head held its huge jaw that was filled with long dagger-like teeth that curved toward the back of its mouth.

The sharp claws and teeth of the Allosaurus made it a fierce hunter, but its big size may have made it a slow dinosaur. The slow speed of the Allosaurus may not have interfered with its ability to hunt because the Allosaurus' main prey was also slow. It's thought that the Allosaurus hunted and ate the large sauropods and stegosaurus, which were dinosaurs that existed during the same time period.

The Allosaurus only ate meat, which made it a carnivore. The Allosaurus was further classified as a carnosaur, which means that it belonged to a group of dinosaurs that walked on their hind legs and ate meat.

Allosaurus Fossils in the United States

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