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Dinosaur Remains Lead to Discovery of Largest Predator

Dinosaur remains discovered in Portugal may have led to the finding of a new species of dinosaur. This new species may possibly be the largest land predator of any kind ever found in Europe.

Paleontologists Christophe Hendrickx and Octávio Mateus of Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Museu da Lourinhã in Portugal say the 33-foot-long dinosaur remains belong to a dinosaur called Torvosaurus gurneyi was the scourge of Jurassic Europe, Reuters reported.

dinosaur remains

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

“It was indeed better not to cross the way of this large, carnivorous dinosaur,” Hendrickx said. “Torvosaurus gurneyi was obviously a super predator feeding on large prey like herbivorous dinosaurs.”

The dinosaur remains of this new species were uneaarthed by an amateur fossil hunter in 2003 in rock cliffs near Lisbon, Hendrickx told Reuters. He said fossilized embryos possibly belonging to the same species were found last year in Portugal.

This new type of predator, which roamed in Europe 150 million years ago, weighed four to five tons, possessed powerful jaws lined with blade-shaped teeth four inches long, had nearly a 4-foot-long skull, and may have been covered with an early type of feather, Hendrickx said.

The newly-identified predator is not only the largest known meat-eating dinosaur from Europe, but it is also the biggest land predator of any kind ever found on the continent, according to Reuters.

“This is not the largest predatory dinosaur we know. Tyrannosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, and Giganotosaurus from the Cretaceous were bigger animals,” Hendrickx said in a news release, referring to predators that appeared on Earth after the Jurassic period.

Carnivorous dinosaurs of the Jurassic period were typically medium-sized, averaging at a length of about 7 to 16 feet. Larger ones like the Torvosaurus gurneyi lived in the late Jurassic period, according to Reuters.

“This animal, Torvosaurus, was already a fossil for 80 million years before the (Tyrannosaurus rex) ever walked the Earth,” Mateus said.

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