Temporal range: Early Jurassic-Late Cretaceous
|Skull material from Allosaurus fragilis|
Allosauroidea is a superfamily of Carnosauria. Allosauroidea contains of 4 super families Carcharodontosauridae, Allosauridae, Neovenatoridae and Metriacanthosauridae. The oldest known Allosaurid is Shidaisaurus and one of the most late surviving Orkoraptor which belongs to the Megaraptora surviving during the Maastrichtian age of the Late Cretaceous period. Additional but highly fragmentary remains of a Carcharodontosaurid was found that lived during the Maastrichtian age. Which shows that it lived through most of the dinosaur history from the Early Jurassic to the Cretaceous extinction, and probably one of the most succesfull apex predators.
Allosauroids were large carnivores with a long skull and a flesh tearing jaws. Their hands we're large with three fingers. They probably used their hands to grip their prey and tearing them with their jaws. Their legs were made for running swiftly and smoothly. Some species grew up to 14 meters like Giganotosaurus and Saurophaganax.
The clade Allosauroidea was originally proposed by Phil Currie and Zhao (1993; p. 2079), and later used as an undefinedstem-based taxon by Paul Sereno(1997). Sereno (1998; p. 64) was the first to provide a stem-based definition for the Allosauroidea, defining the clade as "All neotetanurans closer toAllosaurus than to Neornithes." Kevin Padian (2007) used a node-based definition, defined the Allosauroidea asAllosaurus, Sinraptor, their most recent common ancestor, and all of its descendants. Thomas R. Holtz and colleagues (2004; p. 100) and Phil Currie and Ken Carpenter (2000), among others, have followed this node-based definition. However, in some analyses (such as Currie & Carpenter, 2000), the placement of the carcharodontosaurids relative to the allosaurids and sinraptorids is uncertain, and therefore it is uncertain whether or not they are allosauroids (Currie & Carpenter, 2000).
The cladogram presented here is simplified after the 2012 analysis by Carrano, Benson and Sampson after the exclusion of three "wildcard" taxaPoekilopleuron, Xuanhanosaurus andStreptospondylus.
Allosauroidea is a large group of Carnosaurs containing four families: