Named By: Steve Hutt et al. - 2001.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Coelurosauria, Tyrannosauroidea
Species: E. lengi (type).
Size: Up to 4 meters long for holotype specimen, may have grown bigger.
Known locations: United Kingdom, Isle of Wight - Wessex Formation.
Time period: Barremian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Skull and Partial skeleton of a juvenile.
is one of the earliest known and the fact that it hails
from Western Europe means that the origins of the tyrannosaurs need to
be carefully considered. Given that the largest and last of the group
are known mostly from North America, and the smallest and earliest are
known from Asia, Eotyrannus along with other finds
has upset the
balance a bit. It could be that the tyrannosaurids radiated out from
their origins very early in their evolution and perhaps even returning
to their origins with newer and more advanced forms displacing the old.
Eotyrannus does show with clarity that the tyrannosaurs were not always huge and powerful carnivores, but had their origins in the realms of faster, lightweight hunters. The longer arms also appear to have still been an important part in prey capture, something that would become greatly reduced in later tyrannosaurids like Tyrannosaurus.
Because the skeleton is of a juvenile it cannot be said with any certainty how big Eotyrannus grew. Only a second and ideally full grown specimen would be able to answer this with clarity.
- A preliminary account of a new tyrannosauroid theropod from the Wessex Formation (Cretaceous) of southern England." Cretaceous Research, 22: 227–242. - S. Hutt, D. Naish, D. M. Martill, M. J. Barker & P. Newbery - 2001.