In Images: A Ferocious Predatory Dinosaur in Europe

Jawbone discovery

torvosaurus jawbone

(Image credit: Aart Wallen)

A 2014 paper has identified a new species of top predator from Europe. In 2003, an amateur paleontologist discovered part of a dinosaur jawbone in sediments near Lourinha, Portugal.

Huge teeth

torvosaurus skull

(Image credit: Octávio Mateus)

The fearsome creature had huge bladelike teeth and an elongated snout.


skull reconstruction of Torvosaurus gurneyi

(Image credit: Simão Mateus)

The jawbone, shown here in a skull reconstruction was originally though to belong to Torvosaurus tanneri a predator found in North America.

Closer inspection

christophe hendrickx and octavio mateus

(Image credit: Mateus and Hendrickx)

But Christophe Hendrickx and Octavio Mateus, researchers at the Universade Nova de Lisboa, took a closer look and determined it was a new species.

Fearsome creature

torvosaurus menaces prey

(Image credit: Sergey Krasovskiy)

The Torvosaurus gurneyi was likely a top land-based predator in its day, and may have hunted large herbivores.

Giant predator

torvosaurus and man together

(Image credit: Scott Hartman and Carol Abraczinskas,)

The Torvosaurus was one of the biggest land predators, and could reach 33 feet (10 meters) and weigh 4 to 5 tons.


(Image credit: Photograph © Julius T. Csotonyi ( Image used with permission.)

Still, it was slightly smaller than Tyrannosaurus rex, the king of the predators.

Tia Ghose
Managing Editor

Tia is the managing editor and was previously a senior writer for Live Science. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, and other outlets. She holds a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tia was part of a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that published the Empty Cradles series on preterm births, which won multiple awards, including the 2012 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.