Large carnivorous dinosaur of a group similar to the tyrannosaurs, found as fossils primarily in Late Jurassic rocks of North America. It weighed 2 tons (1,800 kg) and grew to 35 ft (10.5 m) long. Its well-developed tail, half of its total body length, probably functioned as a counterbalance for the body. Allosaurus walked on its two hind limbs and probably used the much smaller forelimbs for grasping. Equipped with powerful, flexible jaws, allosaurs likely preyed on medium-sized dinosaurs; they were possibly scavengers that hunted in groups. Some related allosaurs (Giganotosaurus, Carcharodonotosaurus) may have been larger than Tyrannosaurus rex.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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