Neovenator

Name: Neovenator (New hunter).
Phonetic: Nee-oh-ven-ah-tor.
Named By: Hutt, Martill & Barker - 1996.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Allosauroidea, Carcharodontosauria, Neovenatoridae.
Species: N. salerii (type).
Type: Carnivore.
Size: Holotype estimated 7.5 meters long. Some fossil material indicates a size of up to 10 meters long.
Known locations: UK, Isle of Wight.
Time period: Barremian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial skull and post cranial remains totally about 70% of the dinosaur.

       It took a long time for the fossils of Neovenator to be studied and named, although such an occurrence is not unknown in the fields of Palaeontology. First discovered in 1978 from the chalk cliffs of the south-western Isle of Wight, a subsequent later visit led to the other remains of Neovenator being recovered and described in 1996.
       At 7.5 meters for the type specimen, and isolated remains suggesting even larger individuals, Neovenator is one of the larger theropod dinosaurs known from Europe. Despite its large size however, the bones of Neovenator indicate that it was of a slender 'gracile' build. This would have reduced weight and increased its speed, suggesting a predatory lifestyle more suited for faster prey.
       Although early study of the fossil specimens resulted in Neovenator being placed in the allosaurid group, later studies indicate that it is part of the carcharodontosaurid group.

Further reading
- The first European allosauroid dinosaur (Lower Cretaceous, Wealden Group, England). - Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie Monatshefte 1996(10):635-644. - S. Hutt, D. M. Martill & M. J. Barker - 1996.



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