A Review of the World of History (Schleich Prehistoric Animals) Carnotaurus

Dinosaur models are a bit like buses, you wait ages for a model to come along and then two arrive in quick succession.  First Papo of France introduced their Carnotaurus replica and now Schleich of Germany have added a Carnotaurus to their not-to-scale prehistoric animal model series.  The two models are very different, the Schleich figure suggests a much more robust and heavy animal with a strong set of jaws.

Schleich Carnotaurus Dinosaur Model

Named and described back in 1985 after an almost complete skeleton was excavated from Upper Cretaceous sediments located in Argentina, Carnotaurus is a very bizarre looking theropod dinosaur.  The name Carnotaurus means “meat-eating bull”, a reference to the two horns that stick out sideways from just above the eyes.

The skull itself is very short and this dinosaur had a very blunt muzzle, with a shallow lower jaw.  Studies of skull material have suggested that this dinosaur had an acute sense of smell, Schleich have chosen to give their Carnotaurus replica prominent nostrils and a considerable overbite.  This member of the abelisaurids had a strong neck and some large muscle attachments associated with the jaws, which seem to be at odds with the relatively weak lower jaw and the disproportionately small teeth.

The Carnotaurus Model (Schleich of Germany)

Fierce Abelisaurid from South America. The Schleich Carnotaurus dinosaur model.

Fierce abelisaurid from South America.

Model Measurements

The model measures twenty-one centimetres in length, with the head held ten centimetres off the ground.  Based on an estimated size of around seven and a half metres, this model of Carnotaurus is in approximately 1:35 scale.

The arms of Carnotaurus are extremely small, much smaller in proportion to the rest of its body than the arms on a similar sized tyrannosaurid.  These stumpy arms were relatively immobile, they could not reach the jaws and they would have been useless at grasping had helping to subdue prey.   This dinosaur had four fingers on each hand, one of which, the first digit, seems to have pointed backwards, although in this Schleich model only three fingers are represented.

To view Schleich prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: Schleich Prehistoric Animal Figures.

Skin Impressions

Thanks to some excellent skin impressions from the right flank of the specimen excavated along with the other holotype material, palaeontologists have a very good idea about how Carnotaurus looked.  Its body was covered with small, pebble-like scales with lines of larger scales (scutes), forming rows running along the flanks.  The design team at Schleich have been careful to recreate their dinosaur with these features on the skin.

This replica is reminiscent of the Carnotaurus depicted in the Disney film “Dinosaur” that was released in 2000 AD.  Even the mauve colouration is very similar to that seen in Disney CGI movie although in the film these theropods were referred to as “carnotaurs”.

Schleich Carnotaurus Model 

The Schleich Carnotaurus - 1:35 scale approximately.

The Schleich Carnotaurus – 1:35 scale approximately. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The model has oversized feet, an aid to stability, as it is often difficult to get bipedal dinosaur models to stand unassisted, but this does not detract from the stance or the pose.   This Carnotaurus is nicely crafted, although clearly aimed at younger dinosaur fans, with its slightly rubbery almost springy feel, it makes an interesting contrast to other Carnotaurus replicas introduced recently.