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DURIAVENATOR

a meat-eating megalosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of England.
duriavenator.png
Pronunciation: doo-REE-a-veh-NAY-tuhr
Meaning: Dorset Hunter
Author/s: Benson (2008)
Synonyms: Megalosaurus hesperis
First Discovery: Dorset, UK
Chart Position: 515

Duriavenator hesperis

The remains that would become Duriavenator—partial jaws catalogued as BMNH R.332—were initially assigned to Megalosaurus bucklandi by Richard Owen in 1883, but were used to raise a new species—Megalosaurus hesperis—by Waldman in 1974 because he, and Alick Walker before him, had an issue with its teeth. Tooth counting is not a bad way to separate carnivorous saurischians and BMNH R.332 has way more teeth in both its upper and lower jaws than Megalosaurus bucklandi. But both its jaws and teeth also sport several features that are lacking in the critter that they were long assigned to, so Roger Benson severed their ties with Megalosaurus altogether in 2008 and gave them a brand-spanking new name—Duriavenator—which means "Dorset Hunter".

Strangely for an apex predator, Duriavenator was almost highjacked by a mere mortal in the form of a friend of the late Sam Welles who claimed that these very same fossils had already been renamed "Walkersaurus", the problem being; an official description in a peer-reviewed publication which would have cemented its name on the roll call of dinosaurs never actually materialised. But stranger still, the tooth count of Duriavenator is closest to Zanclodon cambrensis from Bridgend in Wales, which may be a Triassic-aged crocodile ancestor.
(Western Dorset hunter)Etymology
Duriavenator is derived from "Duria" (an old name for Dorset) and the Latin "venator" (hunter). Not to be confused with a type of perennial herb with nocturnally fragrant flowers of the same name, the species epithet hesperis—a derivation of "hesperos" (western, of the west)—presumably refers to its discovery in the west (well, north-west) of Dorset.
Discovery
The remains of Duriavenator were discovered in the Inferior Oolite "on the north side of Cold Harbour Road", Sherborne, Dorset, UK, by a chap known only as "a friend of Mr. Edward Cleminshaw" in 1914. The holotype (BMNH R.332) is a partial skull.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Middle Jurassic
Stage: Bajocian
Age range: 171-167 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 7 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 250 Kg
Diet: Carnivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Megalosauridae
Duriavenator
hesperis
References
• Richardson L (1915) "On the stratigraphical distribution of the Inferior Oolite vertebrates of the Cotteswold Hills and the Bath - Burton Bradstock district". Geol. Mag., Vol. VII, Pages 272-274.
• Walker AD (1964) "Triassic reptiles from the Elgin area: Ornithosuchus and the origin of carnosaurs". Phil. Trans. R. Soc. (B), 248, 744, Pages 53-134.
• Waldman M (1974) "Megalosaurids from the Bajocian (Middle Jurassic) of Dorset". Palaeontology, Vol. 17, Part 2, September 1974, Pages 325-339.
• Benson RBJ (2008) "A redescription of 'Megalosaurus' hesperis from the Inferior Oolite (Bajocian, Middle Jurassic) of Dorset, United Kingdom". Zootaxa, Vol. 1931, Pages 57-67.
• Holtz TR, Molnar RE and Currie PJ (2004) "Basal Tetanurae" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska (eds.) "The Dinosauria: Second Edition".
• Hendrickx C, Mateus O and Araújo R (2014) "The dentition of megalosaurid theropods". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 60 (3): 627-642.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "DURIAVENATOR :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 23rd Mar 2017.
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