A new dinosaur species found in Portugal may be the largest land predator discovered in Europe as well as one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs from the Jurassic.
The dinosaur is estimated to have been up to 10 meters long, to weigh 4-5 tonnes and have blade-shaped teeth up to 10 cm long.
Fossil evidences of closely related dinosaurs suggest this large carnivore may have already been covered with proto-feathers.
The bones found were originally believed to be Torvosaurus tanneri, a dinosaur species from North America.
Closer comparison of the shin bone, upper jawbone, teeth, and partial tail vertebrae suggested it warranted a new species name, Torvosaurus gurneyi.
“This is not the largest predatory dinosaur we know. Tyrannosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, and Giganotosaurus from the Cretaceous were bigger animals,” said Christophe Hendrickx of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa.
“With a skull of 115 cm, Torvosaurus gurneyi was however one of the largest terrestrial carnivores at this epoch, and an active predator that hunted other large dinosaurs.”
The discovery was announced in a paper published in PLOS ONE by co-authors Christophe Hendrickx and Octavio Mateus from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Museu da Lourinhã.
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