Torvosaurus

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Quick Facts
NameTorvosaurus
Diet
Weight2700 kilos
Length12 meters
Height4.5 meters
Period
Torvosaurus
Human

Torvosaurus was a large megalosaurid theropod from the Late Jurassic between 153 and 148 million years ago in Colorado and Portugal.

There were two types of recognized species, Torvosaurus tanneri and Torvosaurus gurneyi.

When another was found, it was one of the largest carnivores ever discovered. The Jurassic theropods, both T. tanneri and T. gurneyi, were large bipedal carnivores, which grew 10 meters in length along with Epanterias and Saurophaganax. They weighed between 2.5 and 5 tons. Torvosaurus had more than 11 teeth in the upper jaw. 

Torvosaurus gurneyi had been one of the main predators in Portugal. It may differ in number of teeth, size and shape; it had fewer teeth than T. tanneri. 

Torvosaurus appeared to have thicker teeth, while others had fine, blade-like teeth, which may suggest it had a more powerful bite force.

Above the Torvosaurus' nostrils it had an elongated, narrow snout with a crease and a long, narrow skull used to repeatedly bite larger herbivores. It had long, muscular legs and medium-sized arms, good for grasping and holding prey. It had a stiff tail in the vertical plane with tall, broad neural spines in view.

What does Torvosaurus mean?

Torvosaurus comes from the Latin word torvus, meaning "wild", and the Greek word sauros (σαυρος), meaning "lizard".

When did Torvosaurus live?

Torvosaurus was a large megalosaurid theropod from the Late Jurassic Lourinhã and Morrison formations between 153 and 148 million years ago in Colorado and Portugal. 

What is the size of a Torvosaurus?

It was one of the largest known carnivores in the Jurassic, both for T. tanneri and T. gurneyi, large bipedal carnivores, which could grow 10 meters in length along with Epanterias and Saurophaganax. It weighed between 2.5 and 5 tons. Torvosaurus has more than 11 teeth in the upper jaw. 

Where did they live?

When did they live?

What was your diet?

Who discovered them?

What kind of dinosaurs are they?

What type of species are they?

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  • T.R. Holtz, 1994, "The phylogenetic position of the Tyrannosauridae: implications for theropod systematics", Journal of Paleontology 68(5): 1100-1117
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  • Rauhut, 2000. The interrelationships and evolution of basal theropods (Dinosauria, Saurischia). Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. Bristol [U.K.], 1-440.
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  • J. A. Jensen and J. H. Ostrom. 1977. A second Jurassic pterosaur from North America. Journal of Paleontology 51(4):867-870
  • Richmond, D.R. and Morris, T.H., 1999, Stratigraphy and cataclysmic deposition of the Dry Mesa Dinosaur Quarry, Mesa County, Colorado, in Carpenter, K., Kirkland, J., and Chure, D., eds, The Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation: An Interdisciplinary Study, Modern Geology v. 22, no. 1-4, pp. 121-143.
  • Chure, Daniel J.; Litwin, Ron; Hasiotis, Stephen T.; Evanoff, Emmett; Carpenter, Kenneth (2006). "The fauna and flora of the Morrison Formation: 2006". In Foster, John R.; and Lucas, Spencer G. (eds.), ed. Paleontology and Geology of the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin, 36. Albuquerque, New Mexico: New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. pp. 233-248. 
  • Octávio Mateus. Late Jurassic dinosaurs from the Morrison Formation (USA), the Lourinhã and Alcobaça Formations (Portugal), and the Tendaguru Beds (Tanzania): A comparison. Foster, J.R. and Lucas, S. G. R.M., eds., 2006, Paleontology and Geology of the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 36.
geological time 3

Fun Facts

  • There were two species of Torvosaurus: Torvosaurus gurneyi and Torvosaurus tanneri.
  • It was the largest carnivorous dinosaur that lived during the Middle Jurassic period.
  • The Torvosaurus had walked on two legs (bipedal animal).
  • Torvosaurus was a carnivore. 
  • The Torvosaurus was capable of reaching lengths of 33 to 40 feet and weighing 2 to 5 tons.

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