Flesh-eating dinosaur with four-inch teeth 'shaped like blades' was 'most ferocious to ever roam Europe'
'Super-predator' weighing five tonnes roamed continent 150 million years ago
Scientists believe they have discovered the largest carnivorous dinosaur ever to roam Europe during the Jurassic period, in the form of a 33-foot-long, five-ton “super predator” with blade-shaped four-inch long teeth.
Remains of the Torvosaurus gurneyi were discovered in the rock cliffs of Lourinha, in Portugal, by an amateur fossil hunter in 2003.
They were originally believed to be Torvosaurus tanneri, a dinosaur species from North America.
But closer comparison of the shin bone, upper jawbone, teeth, and partial tail vertebrae suggested that it may warrant the new species name Torvosaurus gurneyi, scientists involved in the discovery have reported.
Christophe Hendrickx, a palaeontologist at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Museu da Lourinha in Portugal who has published findings on the discovery said: "It was indeed better not to cross the way of this large, carnivorous dinosaur.”
Mr Hendrickx said fossilised embryos probably belonging to this species were identified last year in Portugal.
Torvosaurus gurneyi could be the largest known meat-eating dinosaur from Europe and the biggest land predator of any kind ever found on the continent during the Jurassic period, he added.
A Torvosaurus gurneyi dinosaur is seen in an undated artist's rendering However, he said bigger predators have appeared on Earth after the Jurassic period. "This is not the largest predatory dinosaur we know. Tyrannosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, and Giganotosaurus from the Cretaceous were bigger animals," he said.
"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, as evidenced by blade shape teeth up to 10cm," he added.
"This animal, Torvosaurus, was already a fossil for 80 million years before the T. rex ever walked the Earth," Octávio Mateus, co-author of the study said.
The scientists said this is the second species of the genus Torvosaurus. The other one, Torvosaurus tanneri, lived at the same time in North America. It was known from the states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming and was identified in 1979.
The genus name Torvosaurus means "savage lizard" and its species name gurneyi, honors James Gurney, the author and illustrator of the popular Dinotopia book series.
The findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE.
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
- 3 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 4 Yes, the iPhone 6 is a miracle, but it's Apple's tax affairs that deserve a double take
- 5 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE NQ to MID LEVEL - An e...
Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...
£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...