Afrovenator (/ˌæfroʊvɪˈneɪtər/; "African hunter") is a genus of megalosaurid theropod dinosaur from the middle Jurassic Period of northern Africa.

Temporal range: Middle Jurassic, 167–161 Ma
Afrovenator mount
Reconstructed skeleton, Japan
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Family: Megalosauridae
Genus: Afrovenator
Sereno et al. 1994
A. abakensis
Binomial name
Afrovenator abakensis
Sereno et al. 1994

Discovery and naming

Afrovenator skeleton
Skeletal diagram of known material

The remains of Afrovenator were discovered in 1993 in the Tiourarén Formation of the department of Agadez in Niger. The Tiourarén was originally thought to represent the Hauterivian to Barremian stages of the early Cretaceous Period, or approximately 132 to 125 million years ago (Sereno et al. 1994). However, re-interpretation of the sediments showed that they are probably Mid-Jurassic in age, dating Afrovenator to the Bathonian to Oxfordian stages, between 167 and 161 mya.[1] The sauropod Jobaria, whose remains were first mentioned in the same paper which named Afrovenator, is also known from this formation.

Afrovenator is known from a single relatively complete skeleton, holotype UC OBA 1, featuring most of the skull minus its top (likewise the mandible, or lower jaws, are lacking apart from the prearticular bone), parts of the spinal column, partial forelimbs, a partial pelvis, and most of the hind limbs. This skeleton is housed at the University of Chicago.

The generic name comes from the Latin afer, "African", and venator, "hunter". There is one named species, Afrovenator abakensis. The generic name refers to its predatory nature, and its provenance from Africa. The specific name refers to Abaka, the Tuareg name for the region of Niger where the fossil was found. The original short description of both genus and species is found in a 1994 paper which appeared in the prestigious journal Science. The primary author was well-known American paleontologist Paul Sereno, with Jeffrey Wilson, Hans Larsson, Didier Dutheil, and Hans-Dieter Sues as coauthors.[2]


Afrovenatorinae Size Comparison by PaleoGeek
Size of Afrovenator (in orange) compared to two other afrovenatorines

Judging from the one skeleton known, this dinosaur was about 8.5 meters (28 feet) long, from snout to tail tip, and had a weight of about one tonne.[3] Sereno stressed that the general build was gracile and that the forelimbs and the lower leg were relatively long: the humerus has length of forty centimetres and the tibia and fourth metatarsal measure 687 and 321 millimetres respectively, as compared to a thighbone length of seventy-six centimetres.[2]

Several autapomorphies have been established, traits that distinguish Afrovenator from its nearest relatives. The depression in which the antorbital fenestra is located, has a front end in the form of a lobe. The third neck vertebra has a low rectangular spine. The crescent-shaped wrist bone is very flat. The first metacarpal has a broadly expanding contact surface with the second metacarpal. The foot of the pubic bone is notched from behind.[4]

In general the skull is rather flat, its height being less than three times its length, which cannot be exactly determined because the praemaxillae are lacking. The maxilla, which has a long front branch, bears fourteen teeth, as can be deduced from the tooth sockets: the teeth themselves have been lost. There is a small maxillary fenestra, which does not reach the edge of the antorbital depression and is located behind a promaxillary fenestra. The lacrimal bone has a distinctive rounded horn on top. The lower branch of the postorbital bone is transversely wide. The jugal bone is short, deep and pneumatised.[2]


Afrovenator Abakensis by PaleoGeek
Life restoration

Most analyses place Afrovenator within the Megalosauridae, which was formerly a "wastebasket family" which contained many large and hard-to-classify theropods, but has since been redefined in a meaningful way, as a sister taxon to the family Spinosauridae within the Megalosauroidea.

A 2002 analysis, focused mainly on the noasaurids, found Afrovenator to be a basal megalosaurid. However, it did not include Dubreuillosaurus (formerly Poekilopleuron valesdunensis), which could affect the results in that region of the cladogram (Carrano et al. 2002).

Other more recent and more complete cladistic analyses show Afrovenator in a group of Megalosauridae with Eustreptospondylus and Dubreuillosaurus. This group is either called Megalosaurinae (Allain 2002) or Eustreptospondylinae (Holtz et al. 2004). The latter study also includes Piatnitzkysaurus in this taxon. A study by Matthew Carrano from 2012 placed Afrovenator in a megalosaurid Afrovenatorinae.[4]

A few alternative hypotheses have been presented for Afrovenator's relationships. In Sereno's original description, Afrovenator was found to be a basal spinosauroid (he at the time used the name "Torvosauroidea"), outside of Spinosauridae and Megalosauridae (which he called "Torvosauridae").[2] Finally, another recent study places Afrovenator outside of the Megalosauroidea completely, and instead finds it more closely related to Allosaurus (Rauhut 2003). This is the only study to draw this conclusion.

Afrovenator mount (1)
Reconstructed skull
Afrovenator reconstruction
Life restoration

The phylogeny according to Carrano (2012) is shown by this cladogram.[4]


Piatnitzkysauridae Piatnitzkysaurus floresi by Paleocolour



Spinosauridae Spinosaurus by Joschua Knüppe


Eustreptospondylus Eustrept1DB1 (Flipped)


Duriavenator Duriavenator NT (Flipped)

Megalosaurus Megalosaurus silhouette by Paleogeek

Torvosaurus Torvosaurus tanneri Reconstruction (Flipped)


Afrovenator Afrovenator Abakensis by PaleoGeek

Dubreuillosaurus Dubreuillosaurus NT Flipped

Magnosaurus Magnosaurus (Flipped)




  1. ^ Rauhut and Lopez-Arbarello (2009). "Considerations on the age of the Tiouaren Formation (Iullemmeden Basin, Niger, Africa): Implications for Gondwanan Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate faunas." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 271: 259-267.
  2. ^ a b c d Sereno, P.C.; Wilson, J.A.; Larsson, H.C.; Dutheil, D.B.; Sues, H.D. (1994). "Early cretaceous dinosaurs from the Sahara". Science. 266 (5183): 267–271. doi:10.1126/science.266.5183.267.
  3. ^ Paul, G.S., 2010, The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs, Princeton University Press p. 90
  4. ^ a b c M.T. Carrano, R.B.J. Benson, and S.D. Sampson, 2012, "The phylogeny of Tetanurae (Dinosauria: Theropoda)", Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 10(2): 211-300

Further reading

  • Allain, R. (2002). "Discovery of megalosaur (Dinosauria, Theropoda) in the middle Bathonian of Normandy (France) and its implications for the phylogeny of basal Tetanurae". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22(3): 548-563.
  • Carrano, M.T., Sampson, S.D. & Forster, C.F. (2002). "The osteology of Masiakasaurus knopfleri, a small abelisauroid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22(3): 510-534.
  • Holtz, T.R., Molnar, R.E., Currie, P.J. (2004). "Basal Tetanurae". In: Weishampel, D.B., Dodson, P., & Osmolska, H. (eds.). The Dinosauria (2nd edition). Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 71–110.
  • Rauhut, O.W.M. (2003). The Interrelationships and Evolution of Basal Theropod Dinosaurs. Special Papers in Palaeontology 69. London: The Palaeontological Association. pp. 1–215.
1994 in paleontology

Paleontology or palaeontology is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, fossilised feces (coprolites), palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because humans have encountered fossils for millennia, paleontology has a long history both before and after becoming formalized as a science. This article records significant discoveries and events related to paleontology that occurred or were published in the year 1994.


In the geologic timescale the Bathonian is an age and stage of the Middle Jurassic. It lasted from approximately 168.3 Ma to around 166.1 Ma (million years ago). The Bathonian age succeeds the Bajocian age and precedes the Callovian age.


In the geologic timescale, the Callovian is an age and stage in the Middle Jurassic, lasting between 166.1 ± 4.0 Ma (million years ago) and 163.5 ± 4.0 Ma. It is the last stage of the Middle Jurassic, following the Bathonian and preceding the Oxfordian.

Dinosaur deposits of Niger

The Dinosaur Deposits of Niger can be found in the Agadez Region, Tchirozérine Department, of Niger.


Eustreptospondylus ( yoo-STREPT-o-spon-DY-ləs; meaning "true Streptospondylus") is a genus of megalosaurid theropod dinosaur, from the Oxfordian stage of the Late Jurassic period (some time between 163 and 154 million years ago) in southern England, at a time when Europe was a series of scattered islands (due to tectonic movement at the time which raised the sea-bed and flooded the lowland).


Leshansaurus is a genus of theropod dinosaur from the Mid to Late Jurassic Dashanpu Formation of what is now China. It was described in 2009 by a team of Chinese paleontologists. The type species is Leshansaurus qianweiensis. Fossils of Leshansaurus were discovered in strata from the Shangshaximiao Formation, a formation rich in dinosaur fossils. Li et al. referred this taxon to Sinraptoridae – a group of carnosaurian theropods, but it may it belong to Megalosauridae instead.

List of African dinosaurs

This is a list of dinosaurs whose remains have been recovered from Africa. Africa has a rich fossil record, but it is patchy and incomplete. It is rich in Triassic and Early Jurassic dinosaurs. African dinosaurs from these time periods include Coelophysis, Dracovenator, Melanorosaurus, Massospondylus, Euskelosaurus, Heterodontosaurus, Abrictosaurus, and Lesothosaurus. In the Middle Jurassic, the sauropods Atlasaurus, Chebsaurus, Jobaria, and Spinophorosaurus, flourished, as well as the theropod Afrovenator. The Late Jurassic is well represented in Africa, mainly thanks to the spectacular Tendaguru Formation. Veterupristisaurus, Ostafrikasaurus, Elaphrosaurus, Giraffatitan, Dicraeosaurus, Janenschia, Tornieria, Tendaguria, Kentrosaurus, and Dysalotosaurus are among the dinosaurs whose remains have been recovered from Tendaguru. This fauna seems to show strong similarities to that of the Morrison Formation in the United States and the Lourinha Formation in Portugal. For example, similar theropods, ornithopods and sauropods have been found in both the Tendaguru and the Morrison. This has important biogeographical implications.

The Early Cretaceous in Africa is known primarily from the northern part of the continent, particularly Niger. Suchomimus, Elrhazosaurus, Rebbachisaurus, Nigersaurus, Kryptops, Nqwebasaurus, and Paranthodon are some of the Early Cretaceous dinosaurs known from Africa. The Early Cretaceous was an important time for the dinosaurs of Africa because it was when Africa finally separated from South America, forming the South Atlantic Ocean. This was an important event because now the dinosaurs of Africa started developing endemism because of isolation.

The Late Cretaceous of Africa is known mainly from North Africa. During the early part of the Late Cretaceous, North Africa was home to a rich dinosaur fauna. It includes Spinosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, Rugops, Bahariasaurus, Deltadromeus, Paralititan, Aegyptosaurus, and Ouranosaurus.

List of commonly used taxonomic affixes

This is a list of common affixes used when scientifically naming species, particularly extinct species for whom only their scientific names are used, along with their derivations.

-acanth, acantho-, -cantho: Pronunciation: /eɪkænθ/, /eɪkænθoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἄκανθα (ákantha). Meaning: spine.Examples: Acanthodes ("spiny base"); Acanthostega ("spine roof"); coelacanth ("hollow spine"); Acrocanthosaurus ("high-spined lizard"); Acanthoderes ("spiny neck")arch-, archi-, archo-, -archus: Pronunciation: /ark/, /arkoʊ/, /arkɪ/, /arkəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἀρχός (arkhós), meaning: ruler; ἀρχικός (arkhikós), meaning: ruling. Used for exceptionally large or widespread animals.Examples: Archelon ("ruling turtle"); Architeuthis ("ruling squid"); Archosaur ("ruling lizard"); Andrewsarchus ("Andrews's ruler")archaeo-: Pronunciation: /arkiːɒ/, /arkiːoʊ/ . Origin: Ancient Greek ἀρχαῖος (arkhaîos). Meaning: ancient. Used for early versions of animals and plants.Examples: Archaeopteryx ("ancient wing"); Archaeoindris ("ancient Indri"); Archaeopteris ("ancient fern")arthro-: /arθroʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἄρθρον (árthron). Meaning: Joint. Often used for animals with exoskeletons.Examples: Arthrospira ("jointed coil"); Arthropleura ("jointed rib"); arthropod ("jointed foot")aspido-, -aspis: Pronunciation: /əspɪdoʊ/, /əspɪs/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἀσπίς (aspís). Meaning: shield. The suffix "=aspis" is used to describe armored fish.Examples: Aspidochelone ("shield turtle"); Cephalaspis ("head shield"); Sacabambaspis ("Sacabamba shield"); Brindabellaspis ("Brindabella shield")-avis: Pronunciation: /əvɪs/. Origin: Latin avis. Meaning: Bird.Examples: Protoavis ("first bird"); Argentavis ("Argentine bird"); Eoalulavis ("little-winged dawn bird")brachi-, brachy-: pronunciation: /brækɪ/. Origin: Ancient Greek βραχύς, βραχίων (brakhús, brakhíōn). Meaning: short, and the short part of the arm, or upper arm, respectively. Used in its original meaning, and also to mean "arm".Examples: Brachylophosaurus ("short-crested lizard"); Brachiosaurus ("arm lizard"); Brachyceratops ("short-horned face")bronto-: Pronunciation: /brɒntoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek βροντή (brontḗ). Meaning: thunder. Used for large animals.Examples: Brontosaurus ("thunder lizard"), Brontotherium ("thunder beast"), Brontoscorpio ("thunder scorpion")-canth, cantho-: see -acanth, acantho--cephalus, cephalo-, -cephale, -cephalian: Pronunciation: /sɛfələs/, /sɛfəloʊ̯/, /sɛfəli:/ /sɛfeɪliːən/. Origin: Ancient Greek κεφαλή (kephalḗ). Meaning: head.Examples: Euoplocephalus ("well-protected head"), Pachycephalosaurus ("thick headed lizard"), Amtocephale ("Amtgai head"); Therocephalian ("beast-headed")-ceras, cerat-, -ceratus : Pronunciation: /sɛrəs/, /sɛrət/, /sɛrətəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek κέρας (kéras). Meaning: horn. Used for many horned animals, but most notably ceratopsians.Examples: Triceratops ("three-horned face"), Orthoceras ("straight horn") Megaloceras ("big horn") Ceratosaurus ("horned lizard") Microceratus ("small horned")cetio-, -cetus: Pronuncuation: /sɛtɪoʊ/, /siːtəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek κῆτος (kētos). Meaning: sea-monster. The suffix "-cetus" is used for whales or whale ancestors, while the prefix "cetio-" is used for whale-like or large animals.Examples: Cetiosaurus ("whale lizard"); Ambulocetus ("walking whale"); Pakicetus ("Pakistan whale")-cheirus: Pronunciation: /kaɪrəs/. Origin: χείρ (kheír). Meaning: hand.Examples: Deinocheirus ("terrible hand"); Ornithocheirus ("bird hand"); Austrocheirus ("southern hand"); Haplocheirus ("simple hand")chloro-: Pronunciation: /kloroʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek χλωρός (khlōrós). Meaning: green.Examples: Chlorophyta ("green plant") Chlorophyll ("green leaf")coel-: Pronunciation: /siːl/ or /sɛl/ . Origin: Ancient Greek κοῖλος (koîlos). Meaning: hollow.Examples: coelacanth ("hollow spine"); Coelodonta ("hollow tooth"); Coelophysis ("hollow form") Amphicoelias (¨hollow at both ends¨)cyclo-: Pronunciation: /saɪkləʊ/ (or /saɪklɒ/). Origin: Ancient Greek κύκλος (kúklos). Meaning: circle.Examples: Cyclomedusa ("circle Medusa"); Cyclostomata ("circle mouth")cyn-, -cyon: Pronunciation: /saɪn/, /saɪɒn/. Origin: Ancient Greek κύων (kúon). Meaning: dog. Used for dogs or dog-like creatures.Examples: Cynodont ("dog tooth"); Cynopterus ("dog wing"); Arctocyon ("bear dog")-dactyl, -dactylus: Pronunciation: /dæktəl/, /dæktələs/. Origin: Ancient Greek δάκτυλος (dáktulos). Meaning: finger, toe.Examples: artiodactyl ("even toe"); Pterodactylus ("wing finger"); perissodactyl ("uneven toe")-deres: Origin: Ancient Greek δέρη (dére). Meaning: neck, collar.Examples: Acanthoderes ("spiny neck")-derm: Pronunciation: /dɜrm/. Origin: Ancient Greek δέρμα (dérma). Meaning: animal hide. Used for skin.Examples: placoderm ("plated skin"); echinoderm ("hedgehog skin"); ostracoderm ("shell skin")deino-: See dino-, deino-.

dendro-, -dendron, -dendrum: Pronunciation: /dɛn.dɹoʊ/, /ˈdɛndɹən/, /dɛndɹəm/. Origin: Ancient Greek δένδρον (déndron). Meaning: tree.Examples: Rhododendron ("rose tree"); Liriodendron ("lily tree"); Dendrocnide ("tree nettle"); Epidendrum ("above tree") Lepidodendron (¨scaled tree¨)di-: Pronunciation: /daɪ/. Origin: Ancient Greek δίς (dís). Meaning: twice. Used to indicate two of something.Examples: Dilophosaurus ("twice crested lizard"); Diceratops ("two-horned face") diapsid ("two arches")dino-, deino-: Pronunciation: /daɪnoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek δεινός (deinós). Meaning: "terrible", "formidable". Used for presumably fearfully large or dangerous animals or animal parts.Examples: dinosaur ("terrible lizard"), Dinofelis ("terrible cat"), Deinonychus ("terrible claw"), Deinocheirus ("terrible hand")diplo-: Pronunciation: /dɪploʊ/, /dɪplo/. Origin: Ancient Greek διπλόος, διπλοῦς (diplóos, diploûs). Meaning: double.Examples: Diplodocus ("double beam"); Diplopoda ("double feet"); Diplomonad ("double unit")-don, -dont, -donto-: See -odon, -odont, -odonto-.

dromaeo-, -dromeus: Pronunciation: /droʊmɪoʊ/, /droʊmɪəs/ Origin: Ancient Greek δρομαῖος (dromaîos). Meaning: runner.Examples: Dromaeosaurus ("runner lizard"); Kulindadromeus ("Kulinda runner"); Thalassodromeus ("sea runner")eo-: Pronunciation: /iːoʊ̯/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἠώς (ēṓs). Meaning: dawn. Used for very early appearances of animals in the fossil record.Examples: Eohippus ("dawn horse"); Eomaia ("dawn Maia"); Eoraptor ("dawn seizer")-erpeton: Pronunciation: /ɜrpətɒn/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἑρπετόν (herpetón). Meaning: reptile (literally, "creeping thing"); used for amphibians.Examples: Hynerpeton ("Hyner creeper"); Greererpeton ("Greer creeper"); Arizonerpeton ("Arizona creeper")eu-: Pronunciation: /iːu̟/. Origin: Ancient Greek εὖ (eû). Meaning: "good", "well"; also extended via New Latin to mean "true". Used in a variety of ways, often to indicate well-preserved specimens, well-developed bones, "truer" examples of fossil forms, or simply admiration on the part of the discoverer.Examples: Euparkeria ("Parker's good [animal]") Euhelopus ("good marsh foot") Eustreptospondylus ("true Streptospondylus")-felis: Pronunciation: /fiːlɪs/. Origin: Latin felis, feles. Meaning: cat. "Felis" alone is the genus name for the group that includes the domestic cat.Examples: Dinofelis ("terrible cat"); Pardofelis ("leopard cat");-form, -formes: Pronunciation: /foʊrm/, /foʊrms/. Origin: Latin forma. Meaning: shape, form. Used for large groups of animals that share similar characteristics.Examples: Galliformes ("chicken form"); Anseriformes ("goose form"); Squaliformes ("shark form")giga-, giganto-: Pronunciation: /d͡ʒaɪgə/, /d͡ʒaɪgæntoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek γίγας, γῐ́γᾰντος (gígas, gigantos). Meaning: giant, of a giant, respectively. Used for large species.Examples: Giganotosaurus ("giant southern lizard"); Gigantopithecus ("giant ape"); Gigantoraptor ("giant seizer")-gnath-, gnatho-, -gnathus: Pronunciation: /neɪθ/, /neɪθoʊ/, /neɪθəs/ (or /gneɪθəs/). Origin: Ancient Greek γνάθος (gnáthos). Meaning: jaw.Examples: Caenagnathasia ("recent Asian jaw"); Gnathostoma ("jaw mouth"); Compsognathus ("elegant jaw")hemi-: Pronunciation: /hɛmi/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἡμι- (hēmi-). Meaning: half.Examples: Hemicyon ("half-dog"); hemichordate ("half-chordate"); Hemiptera ("half-wing")hippus, hippo-: Pronunciation: /ἵππος/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἵππος (híppos). Meaning: horseExamples: Eohippus ("dawn horse"); Hippodraco ("horse dragon"); Hippopotamus ("river horse")hyl-, hylo-: Pronunciation: /haɪl/, /haɪloʊ/ (or /haɪlɒ/). Origin: Ancient Greek ὕλη ("húlē"). Meaning: wood, forest.Examples: Hylonomus ("forest dweller"); Hylobates ("forest walker"); Hylarana ("forest frog")-ia: Pronunciation: /iːə/. Origin: Ancient Greek -ια, -εια (-ia, -eia). Meaning: an abstraction usually used as an honorific for a person or place.Examples: Dickinsonia ("for Dickinson"); Cooksonia ("for Cookson"); Coloradia ("for Colorado"); Edmontonia ("for Edmonton")ichthyo-, -ichthys: Pronunciation: /ɪkθioʊs/, /ɪkθis/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἰχθῦς (ikhthûs). Meaning: fish. The suffix "-ichthys" is used for fish, while the prefix "ichthyo-", while used for fish, is also used for fish-like creatures.Examples: Ichthyosaurus ("fish lizard"); Leedsichthys ("Leeds's fish"); Haikouichthys ("Haikou fish")-lania, Pronunciation: /læniːə/, Origin: Ancient Greek ἀλαίνειν (alaínein): Meaning: to wander. Used for animals that are found in most places around continents.Examples: Meiolania ("weak wanderer"); Megalania ("great wanderer")-lepis, lepido-: Pronunciation: /lɛpɪs/ /lɛpɪdoʊ/ (or /lɛpɪdɒ/). Origin: Ancient Greek λεπίς (lepis). Meaning: scale.Examples: Mongolepis ("Mongol scale"); Polymerolepis ("many part scale"); Lepidosauria ("scaled lizards"); Lepidoptera ("scaled wing"); Lepidodendron ("scaled tree")-lestes: Pronunciation: /lɛstiːz/. Origin: Ancient Greek λῃστής (lēistḗs). Meaning: robber.Examples: Carpolestes ("fruit robber"); Ornitholestes ("bird robber"); Sarcolestes ("flesh robber"); Necrolestes ("grave robber")long: Pronunciation: /lʊng/. Origin: Mandarin long (龙/龍). Meaning: dragon. Used for dinosaur finds in ChinaExamples: Mei long ("sleeping dragon"); Bolong ("small dragon"); Zuolong ("Zuo's dragon")-lopho-, -lophus: Pronunciation: /lɒfoʊ/, /ləfəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek λόφος (lóphos). Meaning: A bird's crest. Used for animals with crests on their heads.Examples: Dilophosaurus ("two-crested lizard"); Brachylophosaurus ("short-crested lizard"); Saurolophus ("lizard crest")macro-: Pronunciation: /mækroʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek μακρός (makrós). Meaning: (correctly) long; (usually) large.Examples: macropod ("big foot"); Macrodontophion ("big tooth snake"); Macrogryphosaurus ("big enigmatic lizard")-maia, maia-: Pronunciation: /meiə/ Origin: Ancient Greek Μαῖα (Maîa). Meaning: Originally the mother of Hermes in Greek mythology and the goddess of growth in Roman mythology, alternatively spelled Maja. Frequently used to indicate maternal roles, this word should not be construed as translating directly to "mother" (Latin māter; Ancient Greek μήτηρ mḗtēr); aside from being a proper name, in Ancient Greek "maîa" can translate to "midwife" or "foster mother" and was used as an honorific address for older women, typically translated into English as "Good Mother".Examples: Maiasaura ("Good Mother/Maia's lizard"); Eomaia ("dawn Maia"); Juramaia (Jurassic Maia")mega-, megalo-: Pronunciation: /mɛga/, /mɛgaloʊ̯/. Origin: Ancient Greek μέγας, μεγάλη (mégas, megálē). Meaning: big.Examples: Megarachne ("big spider"); Megalosaurus ("big lizard"); Megalodon ("big tooth")micro-: Pronunciation: /maɪkroʊ̯/. Origin: Ancient Greek μικρός (mikrós). Meaning: "small".Examples: Microraptor ("small seizer") Microvenator ("small hunter"); Microceratops ("small horned face")mimo-, -mimus: /maɪmoʊ̯/, /maɪməs/. Origin: Latin mimus. Meaning: actor. Used for creatures that resemble others.Examples: Struthiomimus; ("ostrich mimic"); Ornithomimus ("bird mimic"); Gallimimus ("chicken mimic"); ornithomimosaur ("bird mimic lizard")-monas, -monad: Pronunciation: /moʊnas/, /monas/, /moʊnad/, /monad/. Origin: Ancient Greek μονάς (monás). Meaning: unit. Used for single-celled organisms (mainly protists).Examples: Chlamydomonas ("cloak unit"); Pseudomonas ("false unit"); Metamonad ("encompassing unit")-morph: Pronunciation: /moʊrf/. Origin: Ancient Greek μορφή (morphḗ). Meaning: form, shape. Used for large groups of animals which share a common genetic lineageExamples: crocodylomorphs ("crocodile form"); sauropodomorphs ("sauropod form"); Muscomorpha ("fly form") Dimorphodon ("two forms of teeth")-nax, -anax-: Pronunciation: /ναξ/άναξ/. Origin: Ancient Greek ἄναξ (ánax). Meaning: king.Examples: Lythronax ("gore king") Saurophaganax ("king of the lizard-eaters")-nych, nycho-, -nyx: see -onych, onycho-, -onyx

-odon, -odont, -odonto-: Pronunciation: /oʊdɒn/, /oʊdɒnt/, /oʊdɒntoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek ὀδούς (odoús). Meaning: tooth.Examples: Dimetrodon ("two-measures of teeth"), cynodont ("dog tooth") Carcharodontosaurus ("serrated tooth lizard")-oides, -odes: Pronunciation: /oiːdiːz/, /oʊːdiːz/. Origin: Ancient Greek εἶδος (eîdos). Meaning: likeness. Used for species that resemble other species.Examples: Hypocnemoides ("like Hypocnemis"); Aetobarbakinoides ("like the long-legged buzzard"); Callianthemoides ("like Callianthemum"); Argyrodes ("like silver")onycho-, -onychus, -onyx: /ɒnikoʊ/, /ɒnikəs/ (or /ɒnaɪkoʊ/, ɒnaɪkəs/), /ɒniks/. Origin: Ancient Greek ὄνυξ (ónux). Meaning: claw.Examples: Deinonychus ("terrible claw"); Euronychodon ("European claw tooth"); Nothronychus ("sloth claw"), Baryonyx ("heavy claw")-ops: Pronunciation: /ɒps/. Origin: Ancient Greek ὄψ (óps). Meaning: face.Examples: Triceratops ("three-horned face"); Moschops ("calf face"); Spinops ("spine face")-ornis, ornith-, ornitho-: Pronunciation: /oʊ̯rnɪs/, /oʊ̯rnɪθ/, /oʊ̯rnɪθoʊ̯/. Origin: Ancient Greek ὄρνις, ὄρνιθος (órnis, órnithos). Meaning: bird, of a bird respectively. "ornith-" and "ornitho-" are generally used for animals with birdlike characteristics; the suffix "-ornis" is generally applied to fossil bird species.Examples: ornithischian ("bird-hipped"); Ornithocheirus ("bird-hand"); Eoconfuciusornis ("Confucius's dawn bird")pachy-: Pronunciation: /pæki/ Origin: Ancient Greek παχύς (pakhús). Meaning: thick.Examples: Pachycephalosaurus ("thick-headed lizard"); Pachylemur ("thick lemur"); Pachyuromys ("thick tailed mouse")para-: Pronunciation: /pærɑː/ Origin: Ancient Greek παρά (pará). Meaning: near. Used for species that resemble previously named species.Examples: Paranthodon ("near Anthodon"); Pararhabdodon ("near Rhabdodon"); Parasaurolophus ("near Saurolophus)"-pelta: Pronunciation: /pɛltə:/ Origin: Ancient Greek πέλτη (péltē). Meaning: shield. Frequently used for ankylosaurs.Examples: Sauropelta ("lizard shield"); Dracopelta ("dragon shield"); Cedarpelta ("Cedar shield")-pithecus: Pronunciation: /piθəkəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek πίθηκος (píthēkos). Meaning: ape.Examples: Australopithecus ("southern ape"); Ardipithecus ("floor ape"); Gigantopithecus ("giant ape")platy-: Pronunciation: /ˈplætɪ/. Origin: Ancient Greek πλατύς (platús). Meaning: flat. Used for creatures that are flat or have flat parts.Examples: Platyhelminthes ("flat worm"); Platybelodon ("flat spear-tusk"); Platycodon ("flat bell"); Platypus ("flat foot)plesio-, plesi-: Pronunciation: /pliːziːoʊ/, /pliːz/ (or pliːʒ/). Origin: Ancient Greek πλησίον (plēsíon). Meaning: near. Used for species that bear similarities to other species.Examples: Plesiosaurus ("near lizard"); Plesiorycteropus ("near aardvark"); Plesiobaena ("near Baena"); Plesiadapis ("near Adapis")-pod, podo-, -pus: Pronunciation: /pɒd/, /pɒdoʊ/, /pʊs/. Origin: Ancient Greek πούς, ποδός (poús, podós). Meaning: foot, of the foot, respectively.Examples: Ornithopod ("bird foot"); Brachypodosaurus ("short footed lizard"); Moropus ("slow foot")pro-, protero-: pronunciation: /proʊ̯/, /proʊ̯tεroʊ̯/. Origin: Ancient Greek πρό, πρότερος (pró, próteros). Meaning: before. Usually used for ancestral forms.Examples:Proterosuchus ("before crocodile"); Procompsognathus ("before elegant jaw"); Prosaurolophus ("before lizard crest")proto-: Pronunciation: /proʊtoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek πρῶτος (prōtos). Meaning: first. Used for early appearances in the fossil record.Examples: Protoceratops ("first horned face"); Protognathosaurus ("first jaw lizard"); Protohadros ("first hadrosaur")psittaco-, -psitta: Pronunciation: /sitɑːkoʊ/, /psitə/. Origin: Ancient Greek ψιττακός (psittakós). Meaning: parrot. "Psittaco-" is used for parrot-like creatures, while the suffix "psitta" is used for parrots.Examples: Psittacosaurus ("parrot lizard"); Cyclopsitta ("Cyclops parrot"); Xenopsitta ("strange parrot").pter-, ptero-, -pterus, pteryg-, -ptera, -pteryx. Pronunciation: /ter/, /teroʊ/, /pterəs/, /terɪg/, /pterɪx/. Origin: Ancient Greek πτέρυξ, πτέρυγος (pterux, ptérugos). Meaning: wing, of a wing, respectively. Used for many winged creatures, but also expanded to mean "fin", and used for many undersea arthropods.Examples: Pteranodon ("toothless wing"); Pterodactylus ("winged finger"); Eurypterus ("wide wing" or fin); Pterygotus ("winged" or finned); Coleoptera ("sheathed wing"); Archaeopteryx ("ancient wing"); Stenopterygius ("narrow finned")-pus: see: -pod, -podo-, -pus.-raptor, raptor-: Pronunciation: /ræptər/. Origin: Latin raptor. Meaning: "seizer, stealer". Frequently used for dromaeosaurids or similar animals. The term "raptor" by itself may also be used for a dromeosaurid, a Velociraptor, or originally, a bird of prey.Examples: Velociraptor ("swift seizer"); Utahraptor ("Utah seizer"); Raptorex ("seizer king")-rex: Pronunciation: /rεks/. Origin: Latin rex. Meaning: king. Often used for large or impressive animals.Examples: Raptorex ("seizer king"); Dracorex ("dragon king"); Tyrannosaurus rex ("tyrant lizard king")-rhina, rhino-, -rhinus: Pronunciation: /raɪnə/ /raɪnoʊ̯/, /raɪnəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek ῥίς (rhís). Meaning: nose.Examples: Altirhinus ("high nose"); Pachyrhinosaurus ("thick-nosed lizard"); Lycorhinus ("wolf nose"); Arrhinoceratops ("noseless horned face"); Cretoxyrhina ("Cretaceous sharp nose"); Rhinoceros ("nose horn")rhodo-: Pronunciation: /roʊdoʊ/, /rodoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek ῥόδον (rhódon). Meaning: "rose". Used for red-colored organisms.Examples: Rhododendron ("rose tree"); Rhodophyta ("rose plant"); Rhodomonas ("rose unit")-rhynchus: Pronunciation: /rɪnkəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek ῥύγχος (rhúgkhos). Meaning: "beak", "snout".Examples: Rhamphorhynchus ("prow beak"); Aspidorhynchus ( "shield snout"); Ornithorhynchus ("bird beak")sarco-: Pronunciation: /sɑːrkʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek σάρξ (sárx). Meaning: flesh. Used for flesh-eating animals or animals and plants with fleshy partsExamples: Sarcophilus ("flesh-loving"); Sarcopterygii ("fleshy fin"); Sarcosuchus ("flesh crocodile")saur, sauro-, -saurus: Pronunciation: /sɔər/, /sɔəroʊ/, /sɔərəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek σαῦρος (saûros). Meaning: lizard. Used for dinosaurs and other extinct reptiles.Examples: Dinosaur ("terrible lizard") Mosasaur ("Meuse lizard"), Tyrannosaurus("tyrant lizard"), Allosaurus("different lizard") Sauroposeidon ("Poseidon lizard")smilo-, -smilus: Pronunciation: /smaɪloʊ/, /smaɪləs/. Origin: Ancient Greek σμίλη (smílē). Meaning: a carving knife or chisel. Used for animals with sabre teeth.Examples: Smilodon ("knife tooth"); Smilosuchus ("knife crocodile"); Thylacosmilus ("pouched knife"); Xenosmilus ("strange knife")-spondylus: Pronunciation: /spɒndələs/. Origin: Ancient Greek σπόνδυλος (spóndulos). Meaning: vertebra.Examples: Streptospondylus ("backwards vertebra"); Massospondylus ("longer vertebra"); Bothriospondylus ("excavated vertebra")squali-, squalo-: Pronunciation: /skweɪlɪ/, /skweɪloʊ/ . Origin: Latin squalus. Meaning: a kind of sea fish. Used for shark like creatures.Examples: Squalodon ("shark tooth") Squaliformes ("shark form"); Squalicorax ("shark raven") Squalomorphii ("shark shape")stego-, -stega: Pronunciation: /stɛgoʊ/, /stɛgə/. Origin: Ancient Greek στέγη (stégē). Meaning: roof. Used for armoured or plated animals.Examples: Stegosaurus ("roofed lizard"); Ichthyostega ("roofed fish"); Acanthostega ("spine roof")strepto-: Pronunciation: /streptoʊ/, /strepto/. Origin: Ancient Greek στρεπτός (streptós). Meaning: twisted, bent.Examples: Streptophyta ("bent plant"); Streptococcus ("twisted granule"); Streptospondylus ("twisted vertebra")-stoma, -stome, -stomus: Pronunciation: /stoʊma/, /stoʊm/, /stoʊməs/. Origin: Ancient Greek στόμα (stóma). Meaning: mouth.Examples: deuterostome (second mouth); Gnathostoma ("jaw mouth") Anastomus ("on mouth")sucho-, -suchus: Pronunciation: /sjuːkoʊ/, /sjuːkəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek σοῦχος (soûkhos). Meaning:: Originally the Ancient Greek name for the Ancient Egyptian crocodile-headed god, Sobek. Used to denote crocodilians or crocodile-like animals.Examples: Deinosuchus ("terrible crocodile") Anatosuchus ("duck crocodile"), Suchomimus ("crocodile mimic")-teuthis: Pronunciation: /tjuːθɪs/. Origin: Ancient Greek τευθίς (teuthís). Meaning: squid. Used for squids and similar cephalopods.Examples: Gonioteuthis ("narrow squid") Architeuthis ("ruling squid") Vampyroteuthis ("vampire squid"); Cylindroteuthis ("cylindrical squid")thero-, -therium. Pronunciation: /θɛroʊ/, /θiːrɪəm/. Origin: Ancient Greek θήρ (thḗr). Meaning: beast. Used for supposedly monstrous animals. The suffix "-therium" is often used to denote extinct mammals.Examples: theropod ("beast foot"), Megatherium ("big beast") Brontotherium ("thunder beast"); Uintatherium ("beast of the Uinta mountains")thylac-: Pronunciation: /θaɪlæk/. Origin: Ancient Greek θύλακος (thúlakos). Meaning: a sack. In the sense of "pouch", used for marsupials.Examples: Thylacine ("pouched one"); Thylacoleo ("pouched lion"); Thylacosmilus ("pouched knife")tri-: Pronunciation: /traɪ/. Origin: Ancient Greek τρία (tría). Meaning: three.Examples: Triceratops ("three-horned face"); Triconodon ("three coned teeth"); trilobite ("three lobes")titano-, -titan: Pronunciation: /taɪtænoʊ/, /taɪtən/. Origin: Ancient Greek Τιτάν, Τιτᾶνος (Titán, Titânos). Meaning: Titan, of the Titan, respectively. Used for large animals.Examples: Titanosaurus ("Titan lizard"); Giraffatitan ("giraffe Titan"); Anatotitan ("duck Titan"); Titanoboa ("Titanic boa")tyranno-, -tyrannus: Pronunciation: /taɪrænoʊ/, /taɪrænəs/. Origin: Ancient Greek τύραννος (túrannos). Meaning: tyrant. Used for animals similar to Tyrannosaurus.Examples: Tyrannosaurus ("tyrant lizard"); Nanotyrannus ("dwarf tyrant"); Tyrannotitan ("Titanic tyrant")veloci-: Origin: Latin velox. Meaning: speed.Example: Velociraptor ("quick thief"); Velocisaurus ("swift lizard")-venator: Pronunciation: /vɛnətər/. Origin: Latin venator. Meaning: hunter.Examples: Afrovenator ("African hunter"); Juravenator ("Jura hunter"); Scorpiovenator ("scorpion hunter"); Neovenator ("new hunter"); Concavenator ("Cuenca hunter")xeno-: Pronunciation: /zinoʊ/. Origin: Ancient Greek ξένος (xénos). Meaning: strange, stranger. Used for organisms that exhibit unusual traits for their class.Examples: Xenosmilus ("strange knife"); Xenotarsosaurus ("strange ankled lizard"); Xenopsitta ("strange parrot"); Xenocyon ("strange dog"); Xenokeryx ("strange horn"); Xenostega ("strange roof"); Xenohyla ("strange hynadae"); Xenozancla ("strange animal"); Xenodermus ("strange mover")-zoon, -zoa: Pronunciation: /zoʊɑːn/, /zoʊə/. Origin: Ancient Greek ζῷον (zōion). Meaning: animal. Used for broad categories of animals, or in certain names of animals.Examples: Metazoa ("encompassing animals"); Parazoa ("near animals"); Ecdysozoa ("moulting animals"); Yunnanozoon ("animal from Yunnan"); Yuyuanozoon ("animal from Yu Yuan")


Magnosaurus (meaning 'large lizard') was a genus of basal tetanuran theropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of England. It is based on fragmentary remains and has often been confused with or included in Megalosaurus.


Megalosauridae is a monophyletic family of carnivorous theropod dinosaurs within the order Megalosauroidea, closely related to the family Spinosauridae. Some members of this family include Megalosaurus, Torvosaurus, Eustreptospondylus, and Afrovenator. Appearing in the Middle Jurassic, megalosaurids were among the first major radiation of large theropod dinosaurs, although they became extinct by the end of the Jurassic period. They were a relatively primitive group of basal tetanurans containing two main subfamilies, Megalosaurinae and Afrovenatorinae, along with the basal genus Eustreptospondylus, an unresolved taxon which differs from both subfamilies.The defining megalosaurid is Megalosaurus bucklandii, first named and described in 1824 by William Buckland after multiple finds in Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, UK. Megalosaurus was the first formally described dinosaur and was the basis for the establishment of the clade Dinosauria. It is also one of the largest known Middle Jurassic carnivorous dinosaurs, with the best-preserved femur at 805 mm and a proposed body mass of around 943 kg. Megalosauridae is recognized as a mainly European group of dinosaurs, based on fossils found in France and the UK. However, recent discoveries in Niger have led some to consider the range of the family. Megalosaurids appeared right before the split of the supercontinent Pangaea into Gondwana and Laurasia. These large theropods therefore may have dominated both halves of the world during the Jurassic.The family Megalosauridae was first defined by Thomas Huxley in 1869, yet it has been contested throughout history due to its role as a ‘waste-basket’ for many partially described dinosaurs or unidentified remains. In the early years of paleontology, most large theropods were grouped together and up to 48 species were included in the clade Megalosauria, the basal clade of Megalosauridae. Over time, most of these taxa were placed in other clades and the parameters of Megalosauridae were narrowed significantly. However, some controversy remains over whether Megalosauridae should be considered its own distinct group, and dinosaurs in this family remain some of the most problematic taxa in all Dinosauria. Some paleontologists, such as Paul Sereno in 2005, have disregarded the group due to its shaky foundation and lack of clarified phylogeny. However, recent research by Carrano, Benson, and Sampson has systematically analyzed all basal tetanurans and determined that Megalosauridae should exist as its own family.


Megalosauroidea (meaning 'great/big lizard forms') is a superfamily (or clade) of tetanuran theropod dinosaurs that lived from the Middle Jurassic to the Late Cretaceous period. The group is defined as Megalosaurus bucklandii and all taxa sharing a more recent common ancestor with it than with Allosaurus fragilis or Passer domesticus. Members of the group include Spinosaurus, Megalosaurus, and Torvosaurus.


Metriacanthosauridae is an extinct family of theropod dinosaurs that lived from the Middle Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous. When broken down into its Greek roots, it means "moderately-spined lizards". The family is split into two subgroups: Metriacanthosaurinae, which includes dinosaurs closely related to Metriacanthosaurus, and another group composed of the close relatives of Yangchuanosaurus. Metriacanthosaurids are considered carnosaurs, belonging to the Allosauroidea superfamily. The group includes species of large range in body size. Of their physical traits, most notable are their neural spines. Their fossils can be found mostly in the Northern hemisphere. Metriacanthosauridae is used as a senior synonym of Sinraptoridae.

Oxfordian (stage)

The Oxfordian is, in the ICS' geologic timescale, the earliest age of the Late Jurassic epoch, or the lowest stage of the Upper Jurassic series. It spans the time between 163.5 ± 4 Ma and 157.3 ± 4 Ma (million years ago). The Oxfordian is preceded by the Callovian and is followed by the Kimmeridgian.

Paleoworld (season 2)

Paleoworld (Season 2) is the second season of Paleoworld.

Paul Sereno

Paul Callistus Sereno (born October 11, 1957) is a professor of paleontology at the University of Chicago and a National Geographic "explorer-in-residence" who has discovered several new dinosaur species on several continents, including at sites in Inner Mongolia, Argentina, Morocco and Niger. One of his most widely publicized discoveries is that of a nearly complete specimen of Sarcosuchus imperator — popularly known as SuperCroc — at Gadoufaoua in the Tenere desert of Niger.


Piatnitzkysauridae is an extinct family of megalosauroid dinosaurs. It consists of three known dinosaur genera: Condorraptor, Marshosaurus, and Piatnitzkysaurus. The most complete and well known member of this family is Piatnitzkysaurus, which also gives the family its name.


Piveteausaurus (meaning "Jean Piveteau's lizard") is a genus of theropod dinosaur known from a partial skull discovered in the Middle Jurassic Marnes de Dives formation of Calvados, in northern France.

Tiourarén Formation

The Tiourarén Formation is a geological formation in the Agadez Region of Niger whose strata were originally thought to be Early Cretaceous. However, re-interpretation of the sediments showed that they are probably Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) in age. It is the uppermost unit of the Irhazer Group. Dinosaur remains are among the fossils that have been recovered from the formation.


Wiehenvenator is a genus of predatory megalosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic (Callovian) of Germany.



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