Sunday, April 8, 2012

Theropods of the British Isles Part III

Fig 1.- Juratyrant langhami
Late Jurassic Theropods of the British Isles

From the Oxfordian stage (~ 158 MYA), Metriacanthosaurus parkeri (von Huene, 1923) is another obscure tetanuran theropod, known from vertebrae, pelvic and hindlimbs elements (OUM J.12144) found near Weymouth, Dorset in the Oxford Clay Formation. Originally thought to be a megalosaurid, there is a possibility that it actually belongs to a group called sinraptorid, better known by its Chinese representatives such as Sinraptor and Yangchuanosaurus. Metriacanthosaurus probably measured about 8 meters in length.

The Kimmeridge Clay Formation has yielded a few theropod remains: one incomplete tooth from Wiltshire referred to “Megalosaurus” insignis (Eudes-Delongchamps and Lennier vide Lennier, 1870) is from a indeterminate theropod. A tibia (OUM J13568) is possibly from a megalosaur or a tetanuran. Two pedal phalanges of Fleet, Dorset are from a tetanuran.

Fig 2.- Metriacanthosaurus parkeri may have been related to Sinraptor.

Tyrannosauroids are represented by Juratyrant langhami (Benson, 2008) from the Kimmeridge Clay of Tithonian age (~149 MYA). This one is known from a single partial skeleton including a pelvis, partial leg and vertebrae (OUMNH J.3311-1—J.3311-30) found in Dorset. Juratyrant is more closely related to the British Early Cretaceous Eotyrannus than to the North American Stokesosaurus to which the animal was originally referred. Juratyrant measured about 5 meters in length.


R. B. J. Benson. 2008. New information on Stokesosaurus, a tyrannosauroid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from North America and the United Kingdom. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 28(3):732-750

Brusatte, S.L. and Benson, R.B.J. (In press). "The systematics of Late Jurassic tyrannosauroids (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from Europe and North America." Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, (in press).

F. v. Huene. 1923. Carnivorous Saurischia in Europe since the Triassic. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America 34:449-458.

D. Naish and D. M. Martill. 2007. Dinosaurs of Great Britain and the role of the Geological Society of London in their discovery: basal Dinosauria and Saurischia. Journal of the Geological Society, London 164:493-510.