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Eocarcharia (Sergey Krasovskiy)


Eocarcharia (Greek for "dawn shark"); pronounced EE-oh-car-CAR-ee-ah


Woodlands of northern Africa

Historical Period:

Middle Cretaceous (110 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 25 feet long and 1,000 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Sharp teeth; bony ridge above eyes


About Eocarcharia:

As you may have guessed from its name, Eocarcharia was closely related to Carcharodontosaurus, the "great white shark lizard" that occupied the same north African habitat. Ecarcharia was smaller than its more famous cousin, and also had a strange, bony ridge over its eyes, which it may have used to head-butt other dinosaurs (this was probably a sexually selected characteristic, meaning males with bigger, bonier brows got to mate with more females). Judging by its numerous, sharp teeth, Eocarcharia was an active predator, though it presumably left the biggest prey to Carcharodontosaurus. By the way, this large theropod marks yet another notch in the dinosaur-discovery belt of the prolific paleontologist Paul Sereno.

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