Afrovenator

A dangerous and terrifying dinosaur

afrovenator

  • Name: Afrovenator
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Weight: 1 ton
  • Period: Jurassic
  • Found In: Nigeria

In this article, we will talk about the Afrovenator a fleshyaurus not as popular as the T-REX or the Allosaurus. But it was undoubtedly just as dangerous and terrifying…

What does the name Afrovenator mean?

The meaning of this name is “African hunter” and is composed of the Latin terms’afer’ which is understood as’African’ and the Venator term which is understood as ‘hunter’.

The specific name of the species refers to the location where its fossil remains were found: Abaka, Niger.

Afrovenator history and discovery

The first remains of this dinosaur were found in 1993, in what is known as the formation of Thiouraren in Abaka, Nigeria.

The holotype consists of: a partial skull, a lower jaw piece; four cervical vertebrae, a cervical rib; six vertebrae; two ribs, thirteen tail vertebrae; a humerus; the lower ulna and radius, a wrist bone, hand bones, pieces of iliac and pubic bone; a femur; a tibia; a fibula; a jumping leg piece; a calcaneus and foot bones.

The Afrovenator abakensis was named in 1994 and briefly described by Paul Sereno.

It is also one of the best-known theropods of the African Cretaceous. Although, as we will see later on, he actually lived at the end of the Jurassic period and not in the Cretaceous period as we thought.

Afrovenator classification

According to Sereno’s first description, the Afrovenator was more basically related to the Spinosauridae.

In 2003, a more rigorous analysis by Oliver Rauhut classified it as Allosauroidea. Although according to later analyses, this specimen had a better position in Megalosauridae.

afrovenator-picture

In 2012 Carrano ratified Ruahut and classified him among the Megalosauridae and named him the subfamily Afrovenatorinae; in which you find other dinosaurs such as Dubreuillosaurus, Magnosaurus, Leshansaurus and the Piveteausaurus.

When and where did the afrovenator live?

At first, it was thought that, based on the geological evidence found in the layers where the fossil was found, it existed in the early Cretaceous, so it was believed that it inhabited the earth about 136 to 130 million years ago.

However, a new assessment of the sediments was carried out, and it was found that it was actually dated to the late Jurassic period.

So it would have inhabited the earth between 168 and 157 million years ago. Their habitat consisted of lush wooded areas near lakes or rivers.

What did the afrovenator eat?

Nothing is known about their social behavior, but from the findings of other theropods (Allosaurus, Mapusaurus, and Deinonychus) it can be concluded that they may have hunted adult sauropods.

Afrovenator characteristicsafrovenator-photo

According to the fossils found, it is estimated that this dinosaur could reach approximately 7 to 8 meters in length. And it was also a slim build, so it could weigh up to 1 ton.

The Afrovenator was endowed with relatively long arms and legs, compared to other fleshyaurus such as allosaurus.

The humerus was about 400 millimeters long, while the tibia and the fourth metatarsals were 687 and 321 millimeters long respectively.

The window of the maxillary skull moves backwards, the premaxillary window is slot-shaped. The square is long and corresponds to more than half the orbital depth of the skull.

The cranial chamber and other ornaments are not very pronounced compared to some other theropods, the tear crest is hollow.

The cervical vertebrae have deep, pneumatic foramina and when articulated form an upward curve that supports the head above the height of the back.