Saturday 8 March 2014

A new species of Theropod Dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of Portugal.

The Late Jurassic Megalosaurid Theropod Dinosaur Torvosaurus tanneri was first discovered in Colorado in 1971, with a number of specimens were discovered during the 1970s. In 2000 fragmentary material was discovered in Late Jurassic deposits in central Portugal, with a number of subsequent specimens being found in the area and assigned to the species.

However in a paper published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology in 2007, Mathew Carrano of the Department of Paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History, Roger Benson, then of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge and Scott Sampson of the Natural History Museum of Utah and Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah challenged the assignation of the Portuguese material to Torvosaurus tanneri, sugesting that while the material could probably assigned to the genus, it was not sufficient to assign it to species level.

In a paper published in the journal PLoS One on 5 March 2014, Christophe Hendrickx and Octávio Mateus of the Departamento de Ciencias de terra at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and the Museu de Lourinha formerly describe the Portuguese material as a new species, Torvosaurus guyneyi.

Reconstruction of Torvosaurus guyneyi in lateral view. (A) Skeletal reconstruction illustrating, in red, the elements present in the holotype specimen and, in blue, the elements tentatively assigned to this species (B) Skull reconstruction illustrating the incomplete left maxilla. Scale bars are (A) 1 m, and (B) 10 cm. Hendrickx & Mateus (2014).

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