Paleontologists studying the remains of a 150 million year old dinosaur, Torvosaurus gurneyi, have identified it as Europe’s largest terrestrial predator ever. According to a paper by Christophe Hendrickx and Octavio Mateus in the latest issue of PLoS One, T. gurneyi may have measured up to 33 feet long and tipped the scales at 2,200 lbs. This terrifying Euro-beast roamed the once dino-rich area that is now Portugal in the Late Jurassic.
Though T. gurneyi was top terrestrial dog in Europe, it was still smaller than its counterparts on other continents. “This is not the largest predatory dinosaur we know” said Hendrickx, “Tyrannosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, and Giganotosaurus from the Cretaceous were bigger animals.” Apparently it’s always been the case that everything is smaller in Europe.
The teeth of T. gurneyi were up to 4 inches long. (Christophe Hendrickx)
Hendrickx says that this new predator’s name was given in honor of James Gurney, creator of the visually stunning Dinotopia book series. For those of you unfamiliar with Dinotopia, check out their website and say goodbye to the next couple hours. Gurney creates a utopian world where humans and dinosaurs live together in perfect harmony. It’s enough to give you a imagination-gasm.
It’s possible that T. gurneyi may have been covered with feathers. Check out our coverage of a sudden color burst in feathered dinos, which scientists think happened at about the same time that T. gurneyi was roaming around.