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.
|Piatnitzkysaurus, type genus of the Piatnitzkysauridae|
Carrano, Benson & Sampson, 2012
So far all known piatnitzkysaurids have only been found in Jurassic deposits of the western hemisphere. Piatnitzkysaurus and Condorraptor hail from the Cañadón Asfalto Formation of Argentina, which has been dated to the Middle Jurassic (approximately 165 million years ago). Marshosaurus was found in the Morrison Formation of the United States, which was dated to the Late Jurassic.
Piatnitzkysaurids were among the first large theropods present in South America, and are evidence for a radiation of megalosauroids and other tetanurans in the middle Jurassic. Although there is strong support for their megalosauroid affinities, piatnitzkysaurids also share some traits with allosaurids, such as a 'sigmoidal' humerus.
Piatnitzkysauridae is defined as all members of Megalosauroidea more closely related to Piatnitzkysaurus than to either Spinosaurus or Megalosaurus. Condorraptor, Marshosaurus, and Piatnitzkysaurus were all placed in a clade by Benson in 2010 during a redescription of Megalosaurus. This clade was defined as a family by Carrano et al in 2012. Piatnitzkysauridae has been recovered as the sister taxa to Megalosauria, a clade containing the megalosaurids (such as Megalosaurus and Torvosaurus) and the spinosaurids (such as Spinosaurus and Baryonyx).
Condorraptor and Piatnitzkysaurus are generally grouped together within this family in a clade excluding Marshosaurus. This is not only due to Condorraptor and Piatnitzkysaurus being from the same locality and time period, but also due to them having flat anterior faces of presacral vertebrae as well as a pronounced ventral keel on the anterior dorsal vertebrae. Due to the strong resemblance to Piatnitzkysaurus, it has been suggested that the sister taxa Condorraptor could be better interpreted as the result of individual variation within the species, and not as separate taxa. The main noted differences between the two dinosaurs include both a less well developed enemial crest and a first sacral vertebra with a shallower fossa in Condorraptor.
Xuanhanosaurus, a problematic tetanuran with uncertain affinities, was placed as the sister taxon of these three genera when their relation was first observed in 2010. However, due to the incompleteness of Xuanhanosaurus's remains, this placement is considered uncertain. Other studies have considered Xuanhanosaurus a basal tetanuran.
Afrovenator (; "African hunter") is a genus of megalosaurid theropod dinosaur from the middle Jurassic Period of northern Africa.Condorraptor
Condorraptor is a genus of megalosauroid theropod dinosaur. Its genus name means 'robber from Cerro Condor', referencing a nearby village, while its species name, currumili, is named after Hipolito Currumil, the landowner and discoverer of the locality. It was among the earliest large South American theropods, having been found in Middle Jurassic strata of the Cañadón Asfalto Formation in the Cañadón Asfalto Basin of Argentina. The type species, described in 2005, is Condorraptor currumili. It is based on a tibia, with an associated partial skeleton that may belong to the same individual. Initially described as a basal tetanuran, Benson (2010) found it to be a piatnitzkysaurid megalosauroid and the sister taxon of Piatnitzkysaurus, a finding supported by later studies.Dubreuillosaurus
Dubreuillosaurus is a genus of carnivorous dinosaur from the middle Jurassic Period. It is a megalosaurid theropod. Its fossils were found in France. The only named species, Dubreuillosaurus valesdunensis, was originally described as a species of Poekilopleuron, Poekilopleuron? valesdunensis, which is still formally the type species of the genus. It was later renamed Dubreuillosaurus valesdunensis when, in 2005, Allain came to the conclusion that it was not part of the genus Poekilopleuron. Its type specimen, MNHN 1998-13, is only rivalled in the number of preserved elements in this group by that of Eustreptospondylus. Dubreuillosaurus is considered to be the sister species of Magnosaurus. It did not show signs of insular dwarfism even though it was uncovered on an island.Eustreptospondylus
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
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.Magnosaurus
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.Marshosaurus
Marshosaurus is a genus of medium-sized carnivorous theropod dinosaur, belonging to the Megalosauroidea, from the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation of Utah and possibly Colorado.Megalosauridae
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
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.Megalosaurus
Megalosaurus (meaning "Great Lizard", from Greek μέγας, megas, meaning 'big', 'tall' or 'great' and σαῦρος, sauros, meaning 'lizard') is an extinct genus of large meat-eating theropod dinosaurs of the Middle Jurassic period (Bathonian stage, 166 million years ago) of Southern England. Although fossils from other areas have been assigned to the genus, the only certain remains of Megalosaurus come from Oxfordshire and date to the late Middle Jurassic.
The earliest possible fossils of the genus came from the Taynton Limestone Formation. One of these was the lower part of a femur, discovered in the 17th century. It was originally described by Robert Plot as a thighbone of a Roman war elephant, and then as a biblical giant. The first scientific name given for it, in the 18th century, was Scrotum humanum, created by Richard Brookes as a caption; however, this is not considered valid today.
Megalosaurus was, in 1824, the first genus of non-avian dinosaur to be validly named. The type species is Megalosaurus bucklandii, named in 1827. In 1842, Megalosaurus was one of three genera on which Richard Owen based his Dinosauria. On Owen's directions a model was made as one of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, which greatly increased the public interest for prehistoric reptiles. Subsequently, over fifty other species would be classified under the genus, originally because dinosaurs were not well known, but even during the 20th century after many dinosaurs had been discovered. Today it is understood these additional species were not directly related to M. bucklandii, which is the only true Megalosaurus species. Because a complete skeleton of it has never been found, much is still unclear about its build.
The first naturalists who investigated Megalosaurus mistook it for a gigantic lizard of twenty metres length. In 1842, Owen concluded that it was no longer than nine metres, standing on upright legs. He still thought it was a quadruped, though. Modern scientists, by comparing Megalosaurus with its direct relatives in the Megalosauridae, were able to obtain a more accurate picture. Megalosaurus was about six metres long, weighing about seven hundred kilogrammes. It was bipedal, walking on stout hindlimbs, its horizontal torso balanced by a horizontal tail. Its forelimbs were short, though very robust. Megalosaurus had a rather large head, equipped with long curved teeth. It was generally a robust and heavily muscled animal.Orionides
Orionides is a clade of tetanuran theropod dinosaurs from the Middle Jurassic to the Present. The clade includes most theropod dinosaurs, including birds.Piatnitzkysaurus
Piatnitzkysaurus ( pee-ət-NYITS-kee-SOR-əs meaning "Piatnitzky's lizard") is a genus of megalosauroid theropod dinosaur that lived approximately 166 to 164 million years ago during the middle part of the Jurassic Period in what is now Argentina. Piatnitzkysaurus was a moderately large, lightly built, bipedal, ground-dwelling carnivore that could grow up to 6.6 m (21.7 ft) long.Piveteausaurus
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.Tetanurae
Tetanurae (/ˌtɛtəˈnjuːriː/ or "stiff tails") is a clade that includes most theropod dinosaurs, including megalosauroids, allosauroids, tyrannosauroids, ornithomimosaurs, maniraptorans, and birds. Tetanurans are defined as all theropods more closely related to modern birds than to Ceratosaurus and contain the majority of predatory dinosaur diversity. Tetanurae likely diverged from its sister group, Ceratosauria, during the late Triassic. Tetanurae first appeared in the fossil record by the Early Jurassic about 190 mya and by the Middle Jurassic had become globally distributed.The group was named by Jacques Gauthier in 1986 and originally had two main subgroups: Carnosauria and Coelurosauria, the clade containing birds and related dinosaurs such as compsognathids, tyrannosaurids, ornithomimosaurs, and maniraptorans. The original Carnosauria was a polyphyletic group including any large carnivorous theropod. Many of Gauthier's carnosaurs, such as tyrannosaurids, have since been re-classified as coelurosaurs or primitive tetanurans. Carnosauria has been reclassified as a group containing allosaurids that split from the Coelurosauria at the Neotetanurae/Avetheropoda node. Members of Spinosauroidea are believed to represent basal tetanurans.Tetanuran evolution was characterized by parallel diversification of multiple lineages, repeatedly attaining large body size and similar locomotor morphology. Cryolophosaurus has been claimed as the first true member of the group, but subsequent studies have disagreed on whether it is a dilophosaurid or tetanuran. Arcucci and Coria (2003) classified Zupaysaurus as an early tetanuran, but it was later placed as a sister taxon to the clade containing dilophosaurids, ceratosaurs, and tetanurans.Shared tetanuran features include a ribcage indicating a sophisticated air-sac-ventilated lung system similar to that in modern birds. This character would have been accompanied by an advanced circulatory system. Other tetanuran characterizing features include the absence of the fourth digit of the hand, placement of the maxillary teeth anterior to the orbit, a strap-like scapula, maxillary fenestrae, and stiffened tails. During the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous, large spinosaurids and allosaurs flourished but possibly died out in the northern hemisphere before the end of the Cretaceous, and were replaced as apex predators by tyrannosauroid coelurosaurs. At least in South America, carcharodontosaurid allosaurs persisted until the end of the Mesozoic Era, and died out at the same time the non-avian coelurosaurs.Torvosaurus
Torvosaurus () is a genus of carnivorous megalosaurid theropod dinosaurs that lived approximately 153 to 148 million years ago during the Late Jurassic Period (Kimmeridgian to Tithonian) in what is now Colorado and Portugal. It contains two currently recognized species, Torvosaurus tanneri and Torvosaurus gurneyi.
In 1979 the type species Torvosaurus tanneri was named: it was a large, heavily built, bipedal carnivore, that could grow to a length of about 10 m (33 ft). T. tanneri was among the largest carnivores of its time, together with Epanterias and Saurophaganax (which could be both synonyms of Allosaurus). Specimens referred to Torvosaurus gurneyi were initially claimed to be up to twelve metres long, but later shown to be smaller. Based on bone morphology Torvosaurus is thought to have had short but very powerful arms.