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|Go to a Brief Fact Sheet on Torvosaurus||Torvosaurus
Meaning: Savage lizard
Named by: Peter M. Galton and James A. Jensen, 1979
Length: 33-40 ft (10-12 m)
Time: Late Jurassic, about 144 mya
Location: Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, USA, North America
Torvosaurus walked on two powerful legs. It had strong, short arms; the forearms were about half the length of the upper arms. It had huge thumb claws and large, sharp teeth.
Photo courtesy of Jim Puckett. This Torvosaurus is from the Brigham Young University Earth Science Museum.
Torvosaurus was up to 33-40 ft (10-12 m) long and 8 ft (2.5 m) tall at the hips. It weighed about 3 tons.
Torvosaurus and Allosaurus were similar, but there were quite a few differences between the two genera. For example, they had very different vertebrae, and the limbs (especially the arms) of Torvosaurus were more robust than those of Allosaurus.
DIET AND TEETH
Torvosaurus was a huge carnivore, a meat eater equipped with sharp, pointed teeth in large, powerful jaws - it was the biggest meat-eater in its habitat. This theropod also had long, sharp clawed hands, but its arms were a bit larger than those of T. rex. Torvosaurus probably ate large, plant-eating dinosaurs, such as Stegosaurus and sauropods.
Torvosaurus was a large, fierce predator that could kill medium-sized sauropods (or sick or injured large sauropods like Apatosaurus) and many others of its contemporaries. Torvosaurus may also have been a scavenger.
Torvosaurus was a carnosaur, whose intelligence (as measured by its relative brain to body weight, or EQ) was high among the dinosaurs.
DISCOVERY AND NAMING OF FOSSILS
Torvosaurus was found by Jim Jensen and Kenneth Stadtman in 1972, in the Dry Mesa quarry in western Colorado. Torvosaurus was named in 1979 by Peter M. Galton and James A. Jensen.
Fossils have been found in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, USA, North America.
Torvosaurus belonged to the:
(and Other Prehistoric Creatures)
For brief dinosaur fact sheets, click here.
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