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Temporal range: Late Jurassic
|An artist's illustration of Torvosaurus gurneyi|
Galton & Jensen, 1979
| †Torvosaurus tanneri|
Galton & Jensen, 1979
Torvosaurus was a large megalosaurid theropod from the late Jurassic Morrison Formation of 145 million years ago. It was one of the largest known Jurassic theropods, along with Saurophaganax, Edmarka, Megalosaurus, and a few others. It grew to be between 30 and 36 feet (9 to 11 meters) long, weighed between 2.5 and 4 tons, and it was one of the largest carnivores to inhabit the Earth up until the Late Jurassic.In Portugal, it may have been the top predator. In Africa and North America there were some theropods that could challenge it such as Saurophaganax and Veterupristisaurus, but as far as we know they never inhabited Europe.
PaleobiologyTorvosaurus was a huge theropod for its time, and probably fed on large sauropods like Diplodocus and Dinheirosaurus and stegosaurs like Stegosaurus and Miragaia. It probably also preyed on the smaller carnivores from time to time as well. It lived in the Late Jurassic Period, and probably lived in swampy, jungle-like areas. It had long, muscular legs and mid-sized arms, good for gripping and holding onto prey. It also had a long, narrow skull, probably used to go in and repeatedly bite at larger herbivores.Torvosaurus grew larger in Europe than in North America, a Torvosaurus in North America would usually grow up to 33 feet long and weigh up to 3 tons. In Portugal a Torvosaurus exceded 36 feet in length and weighed more than 3.5 tons. Unlike most other large theropods, Torvosaurus seemed to have thicker teeth, where others have thin, blade-like teeth, which may suggest it had a stronger bite force than most other theropods its size.
Popular CultureTorvosaurus was featured in a documentary called Dinosaur Revolution, where it fought over territory with a smaller, younger Allosaurus with a broken jaw, until it tried to attack a young, injured Deinhierosaurus and is killed by its parent after fighting with the Allosaurus. Torvosaurus has also made an appearence in Dinosaur King.