Name: Asfaltovenator ‭(‬Cañadón Asfalto hunter‭)‬.
Phonetic: As-falt-o-ven-ah-tor.
Named By: O.W.M.‭ ‬Rauhut‭ & ‬D.‭ ‬Pol‭ ‬-‭ ‬2019.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurishcia,‭ ‬Theropoda,‭ ‬Allosauroidea.
Species: A.‭ ‬vialidadi‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Skull about‭ ‬75-80‭ ‬centimetres long.‭ ‬Bogy length on holotype estimated at up to 7‭ ‬meters long.
Known locations: Argentina‭ ‬-‭ ‬Asfalto Formation.
Time period: Mid/late Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Almost complete skull and partial anterior‭ (‬front portion‭) ‬post cranial remains with partial leg bones.

       The discovery of Asfaltovenator was a very exciting discovery,‭ ‬as this was some of the best allosauroid dinosaur fossil remains discovered in South America.‭ ‬At the time of the genus description quite a lot was already known about the large theropod dinosaur fauna of Cretaceous South America,‭ ‬but possible ancestral forms of these were severely lacking.‭ ‬The discovery of an allosauroid theropod dinosaur like Asfaltovenator in the mid/late Jurassic goes a significant way towards filling this gap,‭ ‬and in a way that would be expected.‭ ‬This is not to say however that Asfaltovenator was the ancestor to some of the later South American predatory dinosaurs,‭ ‬the genus simply represents what we would expect these forms to look like.
       As an allosauroid dinosaur Asfaltovenator would have had a passing resemblance to the famous Allosaurus,‭ ‬though it is important to note that Asfaltovenator was more primitive in its development.‭ ‬Still,‭ ‬with the hips,‭ ‬tail and most of‭ ‬the legs unknown at the time of its description,‭ ‬we can at least use the Allosaurus genus as a very rough stand in for the missing parts.‭ ‬This clarifies that Asfaltovenator was certainly a large predator.‭
       Other predatory dinosaurs from the same formation as Asfaltovenator include Piatnitzkysaurus and Eoabelisaurus,‭ ‬while possible prey dinosaurs could be the ornithopod Manidens,‭ ‬or the sauropods Patagosaurus and Volkheimeria.

Further reading
-‭ ‬Probable basal allosauroid from the early Middle Jurassic Cañadón Asfalto Formation of Argentina highlights phylogenetic uncertainty in tetanuran theropod dinosaurs.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Scientific Reports‭ ‬9:18826.‭ ‬-‭ ‬O.W.M.‭ ‬Rauhut‭ & ‬D.‭ ‬Pol‭ ‬-‭ ‬2019.


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