Named By: Richard Owen - 1854.
Synonyms: Megalosaurus destructor.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Dromaeosauridae, Eudromaeosauria, Velociraptorinae.
Species: N. destructor (type).
Size: Highly speculative given that this genus is in essence a tooth taxon. Comparisons to dromaeosaurid dinosaurs however indicates that the holotype came from a dinosaur roughly 2 meters in length.
Known locations: England - Lulworth Formation, Cherty Freshwater Member. Possibly France.
Time period: Berriasian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Teeth and a fragment of jawbone.
thought to be a juvenile of a species of Megalosaurus,
later established as a distinct genus. Today Nuthetes
is thought to
represent a possible dromaeosaurid
dinosaur, but the key word here is
‘possible’. So far Nuthetes is only known from
teeth and a fragment of
jawbone, making such things as an exact indification very difficult. It
is also hard to estbalish any further details and the only lead that
paleontoligsts have is that the Nuthetes material
represents a possible
dromaeosaur. If true than comparisons to other dromaeosaurs indicate
that Nuthetes, if a dromaeosaur, would have been
about two meters long.
There is also some confusion with the genus Dromaeosauroides from Denmark, as some larger fossil teeth that have been referred to Nuthetes may actually belong to Dromaeosauroides. Likewise, other teeth from Jurassic aged rocks may actually come from proceratosaurid dinosaurs (those related to Proceratosaurus). Overall, Nuthetes is considered to be a dubious dinosaur genus as it will be very difficult to infer further fossil remains based only upon the teeth.
- On some fossil reptilian and mammalian remains from the Purbecks. - Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 10:420-433. - Richard Owen - 1854.
- Monograph on the fossil Reptilia of the Wealden and Purbeck formations. Supplement no. IX. Crocodilia (Goniopholis, Brachydectes, Nannosuchus, Theriosuchus, and Nuthetes). - The Palaeontographical Society 1879, 1-19. - Richard Owen - 1879.
- The first record of velociraptorine dinosaurs (Saurischia, Theropoda) from the Wealden (Early Cretaceous, Barremian) of southern England. - Cretaceous Research, 25(3): 353-364. - S. C. Sweetman - 2004.