(Cañadón Asfalto hunter).
Named By: O.W.M. Rauhut & D. Pol - 2019.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurishcia, Theropoda, Allosauroidea.
Species: A. vialidadi (type).
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.
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.
- 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.