Named By: Diego Pol & Oliver & Rauhaut - 2012.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Abelisauridae.
Species: E. mefi (type).
Size: Around 6.5 meters long. Possibly slightly larger.
Known locations: Argentina, Chubut Province - Canodon Asfalto Formation.
Time period: Aalenian/Bajocian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Skull and almost complete post cranial skeleton.
in 2009 and described in 2012, Eoabelisaurus
was a ground
breaking discovery in our understanding of the abelisaurid theropods.
So far most abelisaurids are known from the later stages of the
Cretaceous period, yet the holotype Eoabelisaurus
confidently assigned to the early stages of the Mid Jurassic. Also at
around six and a half meters long, Eoabelisaurus
was not the largest
theropod of the time, but it was no lightweight either. Although so
far lacking in other fossil deposits, this is a strong indication
that the abelisaurid theropods were part of the Mesozoic landscape all
the while that the megalosaurids, allosaurids,
carcharadontosaurids, spinosaurids and even the tyrannosauroids at
the end of the Cretaceous amongst many other types of theropod. This
would indicate that the abelisaurid theropods were among the most
successful of all of the known dinosaurs.
As a mid-sized predator, Eoabelisaurus probably focused its attentions upon hunting similarly sized or smaller dinosaurs, including primitive sauropods and ornithiscian dinosaurs that would have been fairly common in South America during the Mid Jurassic. One thing of note however is that the holotype remains of Eoabelisaurus have been interpreted as being either from a subadult or adult individual. If the former is true, then it would be a realistic expectation that fully grown Eoabelisaurus would have been slightly bigger than the six and half meters for the holotype specimen.
- A Middle Jurassic abelisaurid from Patagonia and the early diversification of theropod dinosaurs. - Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B 279:3170-3175. - D. Pol & O. W. M. Rauhut - 2012.