Unveiling the Most Dangerous Dinosaurs of All Time

Leave a comment / / Updated on: 4th January 2024

Danger Below!

If there’s one lesson we can learn from every Jurassic Park movie, it’s the fact that prehistoric times were a brutal period in Earth’s history—especially the existence of the most dangerous dinosaurs.

While there are still a lot of dangerous animals around today, none of them pack the same firepower as the dinosaurs and other savage reptiles that used to roam the planet. 

Dinosaurs were immensely large, and some of them had huge jaws, massive talons, and other weapons that would take out even the largest animals today.

Of course, some of them were still docile and relatively harmless.

So, which dinosaurs would have been the most dangerous to accidentally run across if you were alive in the days of the dinosaurs?

Read on as we list some of the most dangerous dinosaurs of all time. 

Gage Beasley's Prehistoric Shirt Collection
Gage Beasley’s Prehistoric Shirt Collection
Gage Beasley's Prehistoric Plush Collection
Gage Beasley’s Prehistoric Plush Collection

How Do Dinosaurs Qualify for This List?

Ranking the deadliest and most dangerous dinosaurs is a bit tricky.

While we do know a lot about some of these beasts, it’s hard to tell a dinosaur’s true temperament by studying a few bones.

And the fact that a dinosaur was a herbivore doesn’t really mean it couldn’t have been dangerous.

For instance, the hippo is one of the deadliest animals around today and isn’t even a prolific meat-eater.

So as you’d discover, some of the dinosaurs on this list are herbivores. 

Ankylosaurus 3d render illustration .
Is Ankylosaurus A Dark Horse For Victory? / ALLVISIONN via Istock

We have curated this list of the most dangerous dinosaurs based on their ability to cause significant injury or death to other creatures using their size, bite force, stature, defensive systems, and other weapons. 

Although some gaps and inconsistencies may still exist based on these criteria, we believe accessing the dinosaur’s brutality based on how they were built alongside the “weapons” they worked with is a very good way to rank the most dangerous dinosaurs of all time. 

Our list includes dinosaurs from different historical periods.

Choosing from different eras this way helps us to draw a balanced ranking based on various possibilities since dinosaurs evolved into different forms over the course of geologic history. 

The Top 15 Most Dangerous Dinosaurs of All Time


Diplodocus 3D Render
Diplodocus 3D Render / Warpaintcobra via Istock
Name MeaningDouble Beam
EraMesozoic – Late Jurassic
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia & Sauropodomorpha
Height4.5–6 meters (15–20 feet)
Length7–8 meters (23–26.2 feet)
Weight12–16 metric tons (26,445–35,274 pounds)
LocationUnited States (North America)

The Diplodocus has the reputation of a gentle giant.

The long-necked plant eater often depicted minding its own business does not come off as a dangerous beast at all.

So why do we have it on this list of the most dangerous dinosaurs? 

That’s because this 100-foot-long sauropod had a deadly weapon that could inflict real damage.

The muscular 20-foot-long tail of this dinosaur wasn’t just for show. Scientists think it could lash out with it like a whip.

Imagine being hit by a whip that’s hundreds of pounds heavy.

That’s certainly enough to ward off any predator that dared to attack this typically benign creature. 

And even if Diplodocus didn’t go the theatrical route of whipping its opponent to death, a well-timed stomp of this dinosaur’s massive rear foot would have been just enough to turn any adversary to mush.

That’s not to mention the fact that they moved in herds.

You don’t want to get in the way of a stampeding herd of Diplodocus


Coelophysis 3D Illustration
Coelophysis 3D Illustration / Warpaintcobra via Istock
Name MeaningHollow Form
EraMesozoic – Late Triassic to Jurassic
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia & Theropoda
Height1.8 meters (6 feet)
Length3–4 meters (9.8–13.1 feet)
Weight20 kg (44 lbs)
LocationUnited States (North America)

Coelophysis was a small theropod dinosaur that lived during the Jurassic Period.

Fossils of this dinosaur have been found on various continents, which suggests that they had a widespread distribution. 

With a length of just about three meters and weight of about 44 pounds, you’ll probably not expect the Coelophysis to be all that dangerous.

Even some of the biggest dog breeds today would have outweighed this dinosaur.

But while one Coelophysis individual wouldn’t have been problematic, try fighting off a pack of these agile little monsters. 

Scientists have found at least two fossil sites with several Coelophysis individuals buried together.

This suggests that these diminutive dinosaurs relied on their numbers to take down prey.

Each one had 26 sharp, blade-like teeth in their jaws, so multiply that by whatever number you have in a pack, and you’ll start to understand just how dangerous the Coelophysis were. 


Stegosaurus 3D Render
Stegosaurus 3D Render / leonello via Istock
Name MeaningRoofed Lizard
EraMesozoic – Late Jurassic
ClassificationDinosauria, Ornithischia & Thyreophora
Height4.6 meters (15.1 feet)
Length7.5 meters (25 feet)
Weight5–7 metric tons (10,000–14,000 lbs)
LocationUnited States (North America), Portugal

Stegosaurus was a gentle plant-eating dinosaur that wouldn’t attack anyone unless provoked.

But one look at the Stegosaurus, and it’s easy to see why this dinosaur isn’t a creature you want to mess with. 

The roof lizard was tall and heavily built. It reached lengths of up to 7.5 meters (25 feet) and was about 4.6 meters (15.1 feet) tall.

As if the size of this dinosaur wasn’t intimidating enough, this big guy had rows of kite-shaped plates sticking out of its back. 

But the most potent weapon this dinosaur had was its tail spikes.

Known as a thagomizer, the unique arrangement of spikes on this dinosaur’s tail made sure no one dared to attack it.

Each spike was up to three feet in length, and the Stegosaurus could swing it at prey to deliver a potentially deadly blow that may have knocked out some of the biggest predators. 


Velociraptor 3D Render
Velociraptor 3D Render / leonello via Istock
Name MeaningSpeedy Thief
EraMesozoic – Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia & Theropoda
Height0.5 meters (1.6 feet)
Length2 meters (6.6 feet)
Weight19.7 kg (43.5 lbs)
LocationMongolia (Asia)

The Velociraptor is a popular dinosaur, mainly because it has been featured regularly in Jurassic Park films.

Unfortunately, the version of this dinosaur that people know from the big screens was based on the size of another closely related dinosaur known as the Deinonychus.

So while the onscreen version was about 6.6 feet tall and weighed up to 200 pounds, the real-life Velociraptor weighed just 43.5 pounds and was a little over one foot tall. 

But a dinosaur roughly the size of a big turkey was still a dangerous predator, especially when it is built like the Velociraptor.

This carnivore had sharp hook-like talons on its legs that could grow to a length of 6.5 centimeters (2.6 inches). 

In addition to this dangerously long toenail, Velociraptor also had a massive jaw, built to deliver a deadly bite.

The bite force of this dinosaur was about 1,000 PSI (pounds per square inch), strong enough to instantly immobilize and kill prey.

For context, the Velociraptor’s bite force was a little higher than that of the grizzly bear, one of the most dangerous living animals today. 


Troodon 3D Render
Troodon 3D Render / CoreyFord via Istock
Name MeaningWounding Tooth
EraMesozoic – Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia & Theropoda
Height2 meters (6.6 feet)
Length2–3 meters (6.6–9.8 feet)
Weight50–70 kg (110–154 lbs)
LocationUnited States (North America), Canada

Unlike most of the other dinosaurs that made this list because of their size or powerful talons, the Troodon’s most powerful asset, and the reason it’s such a dangerous dinosaur, is its brain.

This dinosaur is often hailed as one of the smartest dinosaurs because it had the highest brain-to-body ratio of all dinosaurs. 

The Troodon was a bird-like dinosaur about the size of an adult human.

They were also omnivores and were probably not so intimidating on a first look.

But they were also very effective predators known for their speed and agility.

Troodons formed packs and may have used their superior brains to take down large prey.

An extra cool adaptation Troodons had is that they could see at night, which was favorable for catching prey by surprise and taking them down. 


Triceratops 3D Illustration
Triceratops 3D Illustration / Warpaintcobra via Istock
Name MeaningThree-Horned Face
EraMesozoic – Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Ornithischia & Ceratopsia
Height3 meters (10 feet)
Length8–9 meters (26.2–29.5 feet)
Weight6–12 metric tons (6.6–13.2 short tons)
LocationUnited States (North America)

Some of the most dangerous land animals today, like the rhinoceros, buffalos, and bison, are known for their massive horns that can deliver a deadly blow to opponents.

But what about a creature that was significantly bigger than any of these horned beasts and had more horns than they do? 

Enter the Triceratops, a heavily built Late Cretaceous dinosaur that lived alongside the planet’s most dangerous beasts.

Triceratops was huge, with a length of eight to nine meters (26–30 feet) long and a mass of about five to nine metric tons.

But the highlight of this dinosaur’s defense mechanism was its large frilled head adorned with three massive horns. 

Unlike the keratin-based horns of modern beasts, the Triceratops’ horns were protrusions of its skull, meaning they were made of solid bone.

This means they were stronger and would deliver a very deadly blow to opponents. 

Some experts have argued that the Triceratops didn’t use their massive horns to fight off predators, but considering how horned animals today use their horns for defense, it’s hard to imagine the Triceratops didn’t do the same.    


Mapusaurus 3D Illustration
Mapusaurus 3D Illustration / Warpaintcobra via Istock
Name MeaningEarth Lizard
EraMesozoic – Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia & Theropoda
Height3 meters (10 feet)
Length12–13 meters (39.4–42.7 feet)
Weight3–5 metric tons (3.3–5.5 short tons)
LocationArgentina (South America)

Due to their size, large sauropods like the Argentinosaurus were immune to attacks from some of the most ferocious carnivores that could have preyed on them.

However, one dinosaur lived alongside some of these herbivorous giants and may have been deadly enough to routinely take them down. 

The Mapusaurus ruled the South American continent as one of the largest carnivores of the Late Cretaceous Period.

The 40-foot-long predator was heavily-built and had a massive jaw equipped with rows of sharp teeth. 

In addition to being a formidable carnivore big enough to take down large prey individually, experts think this dinosaur formed hunting packs, further raising their danger factor by several units. 

Fossils of the Mapusaurus have been discovered in sites with several individuals living together.

This is an indication of some level of social behavior.

It isn’t unlikely that a pack of well-coordinated Mapausurus individuals would have taken down some of the largest animals in their habitat and feasted on them. 


Ankylosaurus 3D Illustration
Ankylosaurus 3D Illustration / Warpaintcobra via Istock
Name MeaningFused Lizard
EraMesozoic – Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Ornithischia & Ankylosauria
Height1.5–1.7 meters (5–5.6 feet)
Length6–8 meters (19.7–26.2 feet)
Weight5–8 metric tons (5.5–8.8 short tons)
LocationNorth America

This is another herbivorous dinosaur that has managed to earn a spot on this list because of its impressive defensive mechanism.

Ankylosaurus fed on plants and wasn’t particularly aggressive. However, this dinosaur was built like a tank and had a wrecking ball for a tail. 

Like some of its closest relatives, the entire body of the Ankylosaurus was covered by knobs and plates of varying sizes known as osteoderms.

The smallest osteoderms were up to one centimeter (0.5 inches) in diameter, and the biggest ones were as much as 35.5 centimeters (14 inches).

But the ace card of this dinosaur’s defensive arsenal was the gigantic club at the end of its tail. Made of solid bones, the club alone weighed up to 100 pounds.

A well-aimed swing from this massive mace could easily crush the bones of other dinosaurs or knock out some teeth from an attacker. -making the Ankylosaurus one of the most dangerous herbivores to have ever lived.


Allosaurus 3D Rendering
Allosaurus 3D Rendering / Daniel Eskridge via Istock
Name MeaningDifferent Lizard
EraMesozoic – Late Jurassic
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia & Theropoda
Height3.5–4 meters (11.5–13.1 feet)
Length8.5–12 meters (27.9–39.4 feet)
Weight1.5–4 metric tons (1.7–4.4 short tons)
LocationUnited States (North America), Portugal

Allosaurus lived during the Late Cretaceous, several million years before the T-rex evolved.

And just like the Tyrannosaurus rex, they were the most dangerous and badass dinosaurs on the block during their time. 

Side by side, the Tyrannosaurus rex was a larger, heavier, and probably stronger predator than the Allosaurus.

But the Allosaurus was probably a nastier predator than the T rex because it was agile and possibly more aggressive. 

In fact, while some experts have argued that the Tyrannosaurus was a scavenger during its life, there’s no doubt that the Allosaurus was a voracious meat-eating dinosaur that hunted large animals, including some of the biggest dinosaurs from the Jurassic Period.

Several fossils have been discovered with teeth-marks of the Allosaurus in them, confirming just how dangerous this dinosaur was. 


Majungasaurus 3D Illustration
Majungasaurus 3D Illustration / Warpaintcobra via Istock
Name MeaningMahajanga Lizard
EraMesozoic – Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia & Theropoda
Height2 meters (6.6 feet)
Length7–8 meters (23–26.2 feet)
Weight 1–2 metric tons (1.1–2.2 short tons)
LocationMadagascar (Africa)

The Majungasaurus reputation as a deadly dinosaur precedes it.

This dinosaur is popularly known by the nickname “cannibal dinosaur” because it is one of the few dinosaurs that has shown direct evidence of cannibalism. 

Numerous fossils of Majungasaurus individuals have been found with bite marks resembling that of their own species.

This confirms that smaller and weaker Majungasaurus species were not spared from the terror of their bigger relatives.

In addition to hunting members of their own species, Majungasaurus also preyed on sauropods such as the Rapetosaurus.

Majungasaurus hunted with a bite-and-hold technique similar to that of modern felids like lions or tigers.

They would hold down prey with their massive jaws until the prey collapsed from exhaustion before delivering a final death blow. 


Carcharodontosaurus 3D Render
Carcharodontosaurus 3D Render / CoreyFord via Istock
Name MeaningShark-Toothed Lizard
EraMesozoic – Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia & Theropoda
Height4–5 meters (13–16 feet)
Length12–14 meters (39.4–45.9 feet)
Weight6–15 metric tons (6.6–16.5 short tons)
LocationNorth Africa

When we talk about giant carnivorous theropods, the North American Tyrannosaurus rex always gets all the good PR.

But there were others that were built just like it in some other parts of the world.

Carcharodontosaurus was one of the more obscure apex predators of the Late Cretaceous Period. 

Like the T-rex in North America, Carcharodontosaurus was the terror of the North African landscape.

It hunted ornithischians, spinosaurids, and sauropods, just because it could. 

The dinosaur’s name, which translates as shark-toothed lizard, paints a clear picture of why this dinosaur was so dangerous.

The name refers to the serrated eight-inch-long teeth that lined its massive jaws.

This dinosaur’s skull was up to five feet long.

So not only was the Carcharodontosaurus massive, but it also had a big jaw that could deliver a deadly force to any creature that stood in its way. 


Spinosaurus 3D render
Spinosaurus 3D render / Elenarts108 via Istock
Name MeaningSpine Lizard
EraMesozoic – Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda
DietCarnivorous, possibly piscivorous (fish-eating
Height5–7 meters (16.5–23 feet)
Length12–18 meters (39–59 feet)
Weight7–20 metric tons (15432–44092 lbs)
Location Africa (Egypt, Morocco, and Niger)

Another North African dinosaur, the Spinosaurus, played in a completely different terrain from the Carcharodontosaurus.

Spinosaurus was more popular as an aquatic dinosaur, lurking within and around water bodies to find prey.

This 10-ton killer weighed just as much as Giganotosaurus or even the Tyrannosaurus rex and had an equally bad-ass reputation.

It had crocodile-like jaws that could rip apart any creature in the water and on land, including actual giant crocodiles like the Sarcosuchus, often known as the “SuperCroc.” 

Both creatures shared the same habitat and may have competed for space and prey at some point. 

In addition to the massive jaw of this dinosaur that could deliver a deadly bite force of over 4,200 PSI, it had other dangerous weapons too.

Experts think it could slap opponents with its powerful, flexible tail, and it also had formidable claws for gripping and clawing. 


Utahraptor 3D Illustration
Utahraptor 3D Illustration / Warpaintcobra via Istock
Name MeaningThief of Utah
EraMesozoic – Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia & Theropoda
Height2 meters (6.6 feet)
Length5–7 meters (16.4–23 feet)
Weight500–1,000 kg (1,100–2,200 lbs)
LocationUnited States (North America)

The Utahraptor is a close relative of other famous dromaeosaurid dinosaurs like the Deinonychus and Velociraptor.

It was also older than these raptors and was far more formidable compared to them. 

That’s partly because the Utahraptors were heavier and had a more bulky build compared to their relatives but also because they had several powerful qualities.

These include a large jaw lined with serrated teeth and distinctive sickle-shaped toe claws that were up to nine inches long.

This sharp claw has been nicknamed the “killing claw” because of how lethal it was. 

On top of that, scientists think Utahraptor was a very intelligent predator.

They formed hunting groups and may have exhibited advanced tactical behaviors that helped them take down prey effectively. 


3D rendering of Tyrannosaurus Rex
3D rendering of Tyrannosaurus Rex / Vac1 via Istock
NameTyrannosaurus rex/T-Rex
Name MeaningTyrant Lizard King
Pronunciationtie-RAN-uh-SAWR-us rex
EraMesozoic – Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda
Height4–6 meters (13–20 feet)
Length12–15 meters (39–49 feet)
Weight6–9 metric tons (13,227–19,841.6 lbs)
LocationNorth America

Tyrannosaurus rex is one of the most recognizable and dangerous dinosaurs.

Whether you’re a dinosaur fan or not, you have probably seen a picture of the King of Tyrant Lizards before. 

From what we know about the T. rex, there’s every reason to believe that this massive beast was one of the more ferocious predators to have ever roamed the planet. 

It was heavily built, with a massive skull, sharp teeth, and powerful jaws that could deliver a bite-force strong enough to crush a car.

Based on these qualities, it isn’t surprising to anyone that this carnivore dominated the forested river valleys of western North America around 68 million years ago.

While some experts still argue the T. rex was an opportunistic carnivore that stole the kill of other dinosaurs, there’s no doubt that the 40-foot monster was built to kill, easily ripping through the flesh and bones of other dinosaurs. 


Gage Beasley Prehistoric's 3D Giganotosaurus Concept
Big Gig. Is Victorious!
Name MeaningGiant Southern Lizard
EraMesozoic – Late Cretaceous
ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia & Theropoda
Height4–5 meters (13–16 feet)
Length12–13 meters (39.4–42.7 feet)
Weight6.5–13 metric tons (7.2–14.3 short tons)
LocationArgentina (South America)

South America had some of the largest terrestrial predators ever found, and the Giganotosaurus was arguably the largest of them all.

Although there’s still ongoing debate about this dinosaur’s size, most experts agree that it was probably larger than the T rex and other large carnivores from the same period. 

Considering where it lived, the Giganotosaurus’ massive size is understandable.

The South American continent had some of the largest land dinosaurs ever found.

Growing to a large size (up to 42 feet) and developing lethal features such as a massive jaw with strong neck muscles is the only way to take down giant titanosaurs like the Argentinosaurus.

Giganotosaurus was also a quick and agile predator, and they may have formed hunting groups to take down large prey. 


No matter how much we try, it’s hard to really tell just how dangerous the animals that lived here long before we came on the scene were.

But from the little we know, prehistoric times were a lot less friendly than today.

Which of the dinosaurs on this list do you think was the most dangerous?

Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!


About The Author

Leave a Reply

Discover more from Gage Beasley Prehistoric | Recapping Timeless Creatures

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Scroll to Top