[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: 4-TOED THEROPODS, TENDAGURU GIANT CARNOSAUR



In a message dated 96-09-13 11:17:10 EDT, dwn194@soton.ac.uk (Darren Naish)
writes:

> While on the subject, what has become of _Allosaurus tendagurensis_?
> Isn't this based on something pathetic like a single bone? I think I
> asked pretty much the same question here on the list ages ago. I
> forget the answer.

I happen to have a partial DINOSAUR FOLIOS entry for this species. Here's the
text so far:

ALLOSAURUS TENDAGURENSIS
Etymology: tendagurensis, Latin for "from Tendaguru," the name
           of a hill in eastern Africa (Tanzania) near where
           the type specimen was discovered
Average adult size: About 35 feet (10 m) long; this estimate
           is for the type specimen only
Average adult weight: About 2 tons (2,000 kg); this estimate
           is for the type specimen only
Range: Eastern Africa (Tanzania)
Period: Late Jurassic (Kimmeridgian stage, about 152-155
           million years ago)
Diet: Various dinosaurs
Comments:
        
        This species of Allosaurus is based on a fossil partial shin
bone (tibia) about 90 cm long discovered before World War I by German
paleontologists at the famous Tendaguru Beds in Tanzania (then known
as German East Africa).  Specimens of large and very large carnivorous
dinosaurs turned up fairly frequently at Tendaguru, but the main
problem was the lack of a good skeleton. Many of the specimens were
isolated teeth, some almost as large as the teeth of Tyrannosaurus
rex. Werner Janensch, who described much of the Tendaguru theropod
material, declined to give names to most of it, but the shin bone of
Allosaurus tendagurensis was so similar to that of the Allosaurus
fragilis skeleton at the American Museum of Natural History that he
felt confident it belonged to a new species of Allosaurus.
        As we have learned more about theropod anatomy, it has turned
out that shin bones are not particularly useful for distinguishing
large theropod species.  Large theropods from different genera and
even different families may often have quite similar shin bones,
whereas large theropods of the same species may sometimes have rather
different shin bones, depending on how the individual dinosaurs
developed on their way to and during adulthood. So future discoveries
could well show that Allosaurus tendagurensis is not a valid species,
or that it is valid but belongs in a genus different from
Allosaurus. For now, however, we may regard it as a convenient name
for one of the large theropods that inhabited eastern Africa during
the Late Jurassic period.

Technical information

Discoverer:
When discovered:
Where discovered:
Describer: Werner Janensch
Year described: 1925
Type specimen:
Other important specimens:
Current status: Provisionally valid species; referred to the genus Antrodemus
        by Friedrich von Huene in 1932