Kayentavenator

Name: Kayentavenator ‭(‬Kayenta hunter‭)‬.
Phonetic: Kay-en-ta-ven-ah-tor.
Named By: Rob Gay‭ ‬-‭ ‬2010.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Dinosauria,‭ ‬Saurischia,‭ ‬Theropoda.
Species: K.‭ ‬elysiae‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
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.

       The holotype fossils of Kayentavenator were originally described as 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 Tyrannosaurus,‭ ‬Allosaurus and Spinosaurus.‭ ‬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.



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