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Top 10 Awesome Dinosaurs You've Never Heard of

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Roffey

Script written by Nick Roffey

You’ll be able to say that you knew these dinosaurs before they were famous. From the Gigantoraptor, to the Carcharodontosaurus, to the Saltasaurus, these little know dinosaurs are extraordinary! WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Lesser Known Dinosaurs.

Special thanks to our user popculturejunkie261@ for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+Ten+Lesser+Known+Dinosaurs.

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Transcript
Script written by Nick Roffey


Top 10 Lesser Known Dinosaurs


You’ll be able to say that you knew these dinosaurs before they were famous. Welcome to Watchmojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Lesser Known Dinosaurs.

For this list, we're looking at dinosaurs that might be known to dinosaur aficionados, but aren’t household names like T-rex or Brontosaurus.

#10: Gigantoraptor

Is it a bird, is it a dinosaur, is it . . . dancing? Discovered in 2005 by the prolific paleontologist Xu Xing, Gigantoraptor resembled a huge flightless bird, with a beak-like mouth and possibly feathers. Most oviraptorosaurs - the ancient ancestors of birds - were small, the size of chickens or peacocks. But Gigantoraptor was massive, measuring some 26 feet in length. Imagine the velociraptor from Jurassic Park mated with an emu and the hatchling took steroids - and you’ve got Gigantoraptor. It roamed the Gobi Desert some 70-80 million years ago, and had sharp claws that indicate it may have been omnivorous.


#9: Carcharodontosaurus

T-rex, eat your heart out. This genus of giant meatasaurus, whose name means “jagged teeth lizard,” may have been even larger than the King of the Dinosaurs, with an estimated length of up to 44 feet and weight of up to 15 metric tons! It was named after the shark genus Carcharadon, which comprises the fearsome great white. An apex predator of North Africa during the Middle Cretaceous period, Carcharodontosaurus had a smaller than average brain, but its serrated teeth meant it probably didn’t have to win too many arguments anyway.


#8: Saltasaurus

This relatively small, stubby sauropod from Argentina may have been ridiculed by other titanosaurids for its short neck and stumpy limbs. But fortunately, it had a thick skin - covered with tough, oval armor plates that protected it from attack. Saltasaurus was the first discovered sauropod that possessed armor; its plates were at first assumed to be from an ankylosaur. Its discovery made paleontologists rethink the variety of way that sauropods could defend themselves. The creature’s hippopotamus-like rear end has also led some to believe it may have spent time in water as well as on land.

#7: Tsintaosaurus

Plenty of dinosaurs had horns, like the similarly underrated Dracorex, but the Tsintaosaurus stands out from the pack with its long, protruding head-crest. A hadrosaur that roamed the vast expanses of prehistoric China, the Tsintaosaurus was a duck-billed dino that loved chewing on plants and travelling in packs. Its head crest wasn’t just flashy ornamentation, either: apparently, the crest contained nasal passages that gave the Tsintaosaurus the ability to make low-frequency noises and communicate with other members of the herd. Who said dinosaurs made terrible conversationalists?


#6: Argentinosaurus

Argentinosaurus might be the largest animal to have ever walked the Earth. Like Saltasaurus, this colossal Goliath also lived in Argentina during the Late Cretaceous period. To date, only a few vertebrae, ribs, and some leg bones have been recovered. Because of this, length and weight estimates vary, ranging between 100 to 130 feet and 70 to 100 metric tons. Reaching speeds of about 5mph, it was a slow runner, but this heavy-hitter easily outweighed any predators, and probably did a lot more tail-swinging than running.


#5: Megalosaurus

A carnivorous theropod discovered in southern England, Megalosaurus was much smaller than its North American cousin T-Rex. But it was still large compared to modern animals, about 20 feet long and 1.1 tons. Its femur, stumbled across in a quarry in 1676, was first thought to belong to an elephant or giant, and was captioned in a natural history book as “Scrotum Humanum” - we can’t imagine why. Fortunately, the genus received the new name Megalosaurus in 1824, making it one of the first dinosaurs to be scientifically described.


#4: Deinocheirus

When scientists first discovered dinosaur bones, they came up with all sorts of bizarre reconstructions. Deinocheirus looks like a paleontologist just made a horrible mistake after a bad acid trip, But in fact, this Frankenstein monster of a reptile was genuinely just weird, with a fan of feathers, a sail on its back, killer claws, and the head of Jar Jar Binks. We can only imagine the nightmares it must have given other dinosaurs as it wandered awkwardly across Mongolia in the Late Cretaceous.


#3: Amargasaurus

Amargasaurus is another relatively small sauropod from Argentina, but like Saltasaurus, it had something that made it special: epic rows of parallel, punk-rock spikes down its back. Their function remains mysterious - were they for defense, like the horns of antelope, or did they support a brash but fashionable skin sail? Or, as American science writer Gregory Paul speculates, did they clack together, making a sort of dinosaur drumbeat, possibly to attract a mate? Paleontologists disagree as to their exact use. Whatever the case, at least it had style.


#2: Therizinosaurus

The Freddy Krueger of the dinosaurs, this mysterious theropod, first discovered in Mongolia, had scythe-like claws almost one meter long - the longest of any animal. It was most likely a herbivore, and these claws might have helped it pull down tree branches. But even if it didn’t use those claws to hunt prey, it probably would have been a bad idea to get in their way. They were first thought to belong to a giant sea-turtle, until later identified as part of an unusual and unclassified theropod.


#1: Utahraptor

The Velociraptors in Jurassic Park are actually modelled on Deinonychus, but neither dinosaur could grow as large as their movie counterparts. So it probably thrilled Spielberg when the discovery of a larger genus within the same family was made. As a matter of fact, Utahraptor was almost named Utahraptor spielbergi. Utahraptor could grow to a length of around 20 feet, and the trademark curved claw on each second toe was almost ten inches long. There’s a good chance it had feathers, but it was no feathered friend: it might well have hunted in packs, and could pursue prey at around 20 miles per hour.

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