New dino species named Europe’s top predator

The newly identified Torvosaurus gurneyi dinosaur species, whose reconstructed skull is shown, was probably 10 meters long and weighed four to five tons.

Christophe Hendrickx

Fossils found in Portugal could belong to a new dinosaur species called Torvosaurus gurney. At up to 10 meters long and weighing in at four to five tons, this Tyrannosaurus rex–like beast could have been the biggest predator to ever roam Europe and among the largest dinosaurs to walk Earth during the late Jurassic period.

The fossils were first identified as part of the Torvosaurus tanneri species when they were discovered in 2003. But further analysis suggests that this new dino’s jaw has a distinct bony bulge and fewer teeth than T. tanneri‘s, scientists report March 5 in PLOS ONE. More evidence is needed to determine how distinct these species were.

photo of Ashley Yeager

Ashley Yeager is the associate news editor at Science News. She has worked at The Scientist, the Simons Foundation, Duke University and the W.M. Keck Observatory, and was the web producer for Science News from 2013 to 2015. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a master’s degree in science writing from MIT.

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