Who would win in a fight between T rex and Giganotosaurus?

Of course the obligatory thing to say when asked "who would win in a fight between ..." is that that large preadators don't fight in real life, and that Tyrannosaurus and Giganotosaurus lived tens of millions of years apart and on different continents, and so on and so on.

I don't care about this.  Fire up the time machine, grab one of each, inject them both with Crazy Killer drugs, and release 'em into the arena.  What happens?

My money's on the tyrannosaur.  True, Giganotosaurus has larger arms with more dangerous claws, and possibly sharper hind-foot claws.  It's also a bit bigger overall.  But Tyrannosaurus has a more solidly built skull, a much more powerful bite, and (someone stop me if I'm wrong) I think a larger brain.  The whole architecture of a tyrannosaur is optimised for a single thing, and that is to get the head into position to deliver a killing bite, and to that end it would be rather more manoueverable than Giganotosaurus, which is a long-tailed allosauroid.  I'm pretty convinced that if the T. rex landed one good bite, that would be game over.

Also: tyrannosaurs are just cooler.

Agreed. Tyrannosaurus had a greatly strengthened skull that could have easily withstood reaction forces from its almost certainly powerful bite. There are fossils of Triceratops pelvic bones that are nearly chopped in half because a Tyrannosaurus had munched on them. If Tyrannosaurus managed to bite into the neck of Giganotosaurus there's a great chance that Giganotosaurus would end up with a broken neck...

On the other hand, Giganotosaurus could have inflicted serious damage with its flat blade-like teeth, tearing out huge chunks of flesh and leaving the Tyrannosaurus to bleed to death...but I guess this wouldn't be as quick and decisive as the Tyrannosaurus bite.

So I'm putting my money down for Tyrannosaurus:)

Last edited by Manabu Sakamoto (21st Nov 2007 17:34:31)

So: is no-one going to stand up for the giganotosaur?

Mike, your opening gambit about large predators not fighting in real life may not be entirely true! Panthera atrox skulls have been found with Smilodon fatalis sabres broken off in them. Although they were found in Rancho La Brea, which I am convinced was a battle arena established by the prehistoric equivalents of badger-baiters...

Nonsense! Rancho La Brea is a nice little Tex-mex that does a wicked peper steak just outside San Diego.

Paolo, that's interesting.  Of course we do have intraspecific combat between large predators today, for territorial and breeding rights; but I don't know of situations in which two different species of large predator routinely fights -- or ever, for that matter.  Surely someone out there knows different?  I'm not immediately super-convinced by the predator-trap tarpit assemblage example :-)

What - - did I hear someone say that they 'don't know of situations in which two different species of large predator routinely fights'? Cough, splutter.. Spotted hyaenas and lions (e.g. on the Serengeti) routinely scrap, and you should consider both as large predators. I wrote a bit more about 'predators vs predators' at http://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology … edator.php , though I was more interested in intraguild predation. Back in the good old days when big-bodied predators (and big mammals in general) were abundant, we find lots of evidence from their bones and teeth that they were routinely competing, fighting, and biting each other a lot. So we should assume that contemporaneous dinosaurian predators did, on occasion, fight with one another... but this doesn't go for Tyrannosaurus and Giganotosaurus of course, given they never met.