Named By: Rob Gay - 2010.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda.
Species: K. elysiae (type).
Size: Uncertain due to lack of fossils and the fact that the holotype is of a juvenile. Still holotype is estimated to have been around 50 centimetres tall at the hip.
Known locations: USA, Arizona, Navajo Reservation - Kayenta Formation.
Time period: Sinemurian/Pliensbachian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Partial post cranial remains, including vertebrae, pelvis and parts of the hind limbs.
holotype fossils of Kayentavenator were originally
Syntarsus kayentakatae until later study
declared them to represent
a distinct genus of theropods (additionally Syntarsus
has now been
declared a synonym of Megapnosaurus).
Not a lot can be said for
Kayentavenator because the skeletal remains are
incomplete and of a
juvenile dinosaur; combined together this has resulted in a lot of
speculation of if’s, but’s and maybe’s. One tantalizing theory
however is that Kayentavenator may actually be what
is termed a
tetenuran theropod. Tetatnurans are more loosely termed stiff tailed
theropods, but include many of the more famous genera such as
If this interpretation
is correct then Kayentavenator will be known as one
of if not the first
tetanuran theropod from North America.
Kayentavenator was recovered from land on the Navajo Reservation of Arizona from a fossil deposit that has been identified as part of the Kayenta Formation. Other dinosaurs from this formation include Sarahsaurus and Scutellosaurus which may have been prey items for larger and fully grown Kayentavenator. The aforementioned Megapnosaurus is also present in this formation and may have been a predatory rival to Megapnosaurus. Perhaps of most importance to the survival of Kayentavenator is the presence of Dilophosaurus, a relatively large (by early Jurassic standards at least) theropod that is so far the largest predator discovered from the Kayenta Formation, and one that probably thought nothing about including smaller theropods like Kayentavenator into its diet.