The oldest large-sized predatory dinosaur comes from the Italian Alps

Dec 21, 2018 242

Early Jurassic predatory dinosaurs are very rare, and mostly small in size. Saltriovenator zanellai, a new genus and species described in the peer-reviewed journal PeerJ - the Journal of Life and Environmental Sciences by Italian paleontologists, is the oldest known ceratosaurian, and the world's largest (one ton) predatory dinosaur from the Lower Jurassic (Sinemurian, ~198 Mya).

This unique specimen, which also represents the first Jurassic dinosaur from Italy, was accidentally discovered in 1996 by a fossil amateur within a quarry near Saltrio, some 80 km N-E of Milan. Many bones of Saltriovenator bear feeding marks by , which represent the first case on dinosaurian remains and indicate that the dinosaur carcass floated in a marine basin and then sank, remaining on the sea bottom for quite a long time before burial.

Read more


You may be interested