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15 Torvosaurus Facts You’ll Never Forget

Read these fascinating Torvosaurus facts for kids that you are sure to love.

The Torvosaurus tanneri belongs to the genus of Megalosaurid Theropod dinosaurs and it lived during the middle and late Jurassic period which was 165 to 148 million years ago. They inhabited areas of present day North America, Portugal, Germany, England, Tanzania, and Uruguay. Under this genus, there are two assigned types known as the Torvosaurus tanneri and the Torvosaurus gurneyi. There is a third species that hasn't been recognized as of yet.

The Torvosaurus was first described and named by Galton and James Alvin Jensen in 1979. The genus name is derived from the Latin word 'torvus', meaning savage, and the Greek word 'saurus' meaning lizard. Therefore the Torvosaurus is called the savage lizard. The specific name tanneri is kept after the first counselor of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints Nathan Eldon Tanner.

Fossil remains were discovered by Elmer Riggs in 1899, in the Freezeout Hills of southeastern Wyoming, North America. The specimen consisted of a partial left foot and right hand. These specimens were taken to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, where they were preserved until 2010 when they got rediscovered. More remains were discovered later which are believed to be of the Torvosaurus. Fossils were found in the Tendaguru formation of Tanzania.

Vivian Jones of Colorado, in 1971, discovered a single thumb claw of a Theropod in the Calico Gulch Quarry of Moffat County. After this excavation was shown to a collector named James Alvin Jensen, he was directed by Jones's husband to investigate the Dry Mesa Quarry for more gigantic Theropod fossils. There were plenty of fossils found in rocks of the Morrison formation. Jensen, in 1985, added some skull materials to the excavation materials.

Fossils found in Colorado were described by Brooks Britt in 1991 again and the holotype specimen consisted of upper arm bones and lower arm bones. The specimen paratypes consisted of backbones, hip bones, and hand bones. After the specimen of the dinosaur found by Jensen was added to this, only the shoulder girdle and thigh bone were missing.

Scroll down to read about the Torvosaurus's life, what they fed on, their habits, and other exciting details! If you want to discover more like the Torvosaurus, take a look at the Sauropelta and the Austroraptor.

Torvosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Torvosaurus'?

The term Torvosaurus is pronounced as 'tor-voh-sore-us'.

What type of dinosaur was a Torvosaurus?

The Torvosaurus, also known as the savage lizard, was a carnivorous dinosaur. It belongs to the genus of the Megalosaurid Theropod dinosaur and it lived during the middle and late Jurassic period which was 165 to 148 million years ago. It is one of the largest Theropods ever to exist.

The Torvosaurus was first described and named by Galton and Jensen in 1979. The genus name is derived from the Latin word 'torvus', meaning savage, and the Greek word 'saurus', meaning lizard. Therefore the Torvosaurus is called the savage lizard. The specific name tanneri is kept after the first counselor of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints Nathan Eldon Tanner.

In which geological period did the Torvosaurus roam the Earth?

These Theropods lived during the middle and late Jurassic period which was 165 to 148 million years ago.

When did the Torvosaurus become extinct?

Dinosaurs, in general, went extinct almost 65 million years ago, that is, at the end of the Cretaceous period, after living on the Earth for about 165 million years. This species, however, belonged to the middle and late Jurassic period which was 165 to 148 million years ago and lived in North America, Portugal and other neighboring areas.

Where did a Torvosaurus live?

This dinosaur species lived in areas of present day North America, Portugal, Germany, England, Tanzania, and Uruguay in the middle and late Jurassic period. Fossils of the dinosaur were found in the Freezeout Hills of southeastern Wyoming.

What was a Torvosaurus' habitat?

The Torvosaurus tanneri was a large Theropod dinosaur which means it fed on smaller Sauropods and Stegosaurs. The Torvosaurus type species was one of the largest Theropods to exist after the Tyrannosaurus rex and therefore, consumed all other dinosaurs.

Who did a Torvosaurus live with?

This dinosaur species was a large carnivorous predator. Carnivores that were one of the largest during the Jurassic period used to be solitary animals, as being predators they consumed other dinosaurs like Stegosaurs and other Sauropods.

Studies show that even though the Torvosaurus was one of the biggest predators, it stayed with the Allosaurus, the Ceratosaurus, the Stegosaurus, and presumably the Camptosaurus.

How long did a Torvosaurus live?

The maximum life span of the Torvosaurus tanneri was about 25-30 years. Predators were known to survive less time than Sauropods and the Torvosaurus, being a carnivorous dinosaur, was no different.

How did they reproduce?

Megalosaurid Theropod dinosaurs, much like other reptiles, mated with each other during the breeding season and in the case of this breed, the female dinosaur laid eggs. Eggs hatched after a certain period of time and newborn dinosaurs came out. Adult Jurassic dinosaurs took care of newborns until they could move with their parents or go along with their new family.

Torvosaurus Fun Facts

What did a Torvosaurus look like?

This dinosaur species was a large and robust predator and was among the large Theropod land carnivores. There have been various claims about the size of this dinosaur but the Torvosaurus gurneyi is said to be the biggest Theropod under this species.

Torvosaurus fossils were found in the Freezeout Hills of southeastern Wyoming, North America. The specimen consisted of a partial left foot and right hand. These Jurassic period Theropods had their fossils in places of North America, Portugal, Germany, England, Tanzania, and Uruguay. There were more fossils found in the Dry Mesa Quarry and there were plenty of fossil remains of this Theropod dinosaur found in rocks of the Morrison formation.

For a basic description of these Theropods, the Torvosaurus was one of the largest carnivores to exist during the Jurassic period, and specimens that were found helped researchers to differentiate between the Torvosaurus gurneyi and the Torvosaurus tanneri. The comparison between the species was done on the basis of their number of teeth and the size and shape of the mouth. The upper jaw of the Torvosaurus tanneri was estimated to have had more than 11 teeth, while the Torvosaurus gurneyi probably had fewer teeth than that. However, later studies have shown that even though there might be a comparison drawn on the basis of their teeth, there is no surety that these animals' upper jaw and lower jaw had the estimated number of teeth as mentioned before.

The specimen of the predator received from Germany is further distinguished on the basis of teeth and morphology. The dinosaur had a long, narrow snout and a kink just above its nostrils. The front snout bone had three flat teeth protruding outwards with the front of the teeth protruding over the outer side of the crown. The opening in the Torvosaurus skull in front of the eye sockets was quite short. The tail of the dinosaur was long and yet stiff, unlike the tail of Sauropods, due to neural spines. Arms were robust and sort.

Here's a close look at the skeleton of the Torvoosaurus.

How many bones did a Torvosaurus have?

The Torvosaurus skeleton is incomplete as only part of the dinosaur has been found. Researchers need to explore more in the formation of countries where fossils have been found. Only after proper excavation of fossils can the total number of bones can be stated.

How did they communicate?

There is no specific mention of how they communicated as it is quite difficult to find, but they definitely didn't have modern means of communication. Like any other animal, dinosaurs also communicated by making sounds and using their body language. They might have included hoots and hollers to communicate. Being ravenous predators, these types of species had a high pitched growl which was also used to call for help during hunting.

How big was a Torvosaurus?

The Torvosaurus size was confusing for researchers as there weren't any facts known for the particular species. The estimated size for the carnivore would have been probably 393.7 in (10 m) in length and the Torvosaurus height would have been probably 98.4 in (2.5 m). The size of the popular large predator of the present day animal polar bear is 60-120 in (1.524-3.04 m) in length and 48-63.6 (1.22-1.61 m) in height. This description makes the Torvosaurus about five times larger in size.

How fast could a Torvosaurus move?

These Jurassic period carnivore animals were probably the biggest after the popular Tyrannosaurus rex and, even being bipedal, were extremely fast in comparison to their prey. They fed on Sauropods and Stegosaurus along with other dinosaurs like the Allosaurus, the Ceratosaurus, the Stegosaurus, and presumably the Camptosaurus.

How much did a Torvosaurus weigh?

The weight of this large species was almost 7,936-9,920 lb (3,599-4,499 kg) and this makes the Torvosaurus almost nine times heavier than the Asiatic lion which is about 350-418 lb (158-189 kg) in weight.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for male or female dinosaurs of this species. They are commonly known as the Torvosaurus or the Torvosaurus tanneri. They are also called the savage lizard.

What would you call a baby Torvosaurus?

The newborn dinosaur was known as a hatchling or a nestling. This was common for most dinosaur species. There is no specific information on names of newborns for this species as of now.

What did they eat?

The Torvosaurus species was one of the largest predators to exist on land during the middle and late Jurassic time period which was 165 to 148 million years ago, in the present-day area of North America, Portugal, Germany, England, Tanzania, and Uruguay. The Torvosaurus diet consisted of smaller Sauropods and Stegosaurs. The Torvosaurus was one of the largest Theropod dinosaurs to exist after the Tyrannosaurus rex and therefore, consumed all other dinosaurs.

Did you know...

Allosaurus vs Torvosaurus is a concept as even though these species were said to have lived together, there is the possibility that the Allosaurus was also a part of the diet of the Torvosaurus at some point in time. After the largest predator, the Torvosaurus is stated to be one of the larger predators, and therefore, when lacking food or in a brawl over prey, the Torvosarus would have attacked the Allosaurus at some point in time.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Chungkingosaurus facts, or Heterodontosaurus facts for kids pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Torvosaurus coloring pages.

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