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Europe's largest carnivorous dinosaur discovered in Portugal

The largest carnivorous dinosaur ever found on the European continent was reported by Christophe Hendrickx and Octávio Mateus of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa in Portugal in the March 5, 2014, edition of the journal Public Library of Science.

Dentition of Torvosaurus gurneyi.
Dentition of Torvosaurus gurneyi.
Christophe Hendrickx and Octávio Mateus doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088905.g007
Reconstruction of Torvosaurus gurneyi in lateral view.
Christophe Hendrickx and Octávio Mateus doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088905.g004

The partial skull and caudal vertebra of Torvosaurus gurneyi were discovered in the Lourinhã Formation of Portugal.

The remains consist of large teeth, the complete mouth structure, most of the head, shin bones, and tail vertebrae. Some of the teeth were as long as 4 inches. The upper jaw contained more than 11 teeth.

Comparison of the new fossils with similar species discovered in the same region of Portugal enabled the scientists to estimate that the new species of dinosaur weighed as much as five tons and was almost 33 feet long. Comparison with related species from the Americas helped identify the find as a never before known Jurassic predator that is not avian.

Torvosaurus gurneyi is not the largest predatory dinosaur that ever roamed the Earth but is the largest ever found on the European continent to date.

The researchers propose that this dinosaur was at the top of the food change 150 million years ago on the Iberian Peninsula.

The high level of similarities in bone and mouth structure between this newly discovered species and dinosaurs discovered from the same time frame in the Americas argues for a common lineage and a common ancestor.

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