Fun Neovenator Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Feb 20, 2024 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Nov 18, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.4 Min

Neovenator dinosaur, the name which translates to 'new hunter', is a therapod dinosaur, which was the first European member of the Allosauroidea family to be discovered. This fascinating species belonged to the Early or Lower Cretaceous Wealden Group, England. The fossil remains were collected from the Isle of Wight, which constituted a partial skull and other parts of the skeleton. Further expeditions have led to the recovery of more fossils. The first fossil remains to be found were made the holotype and formally described by Hutt, Martill, and Barker. A more detailed description came about in 2008, by Brusatte, Benson, and Hutt.

The fossil remains of this theropod dinosaur have revealed it to be a creature with quite a massive length, height, and weight. It was carnivorous in nature and fed on smaller dinosaurs. Its skull had massive nostrils, very sharp teeth, and elevated nasal crests. A lot of features of this new hunter dinosaur make it very similar to the Allosaurus dinosaur of North America.

To learn more about the Neovenator dinosaur of the Lower Cretaceous Wealden Group, keep reading! You can also check out these Aetonyx facts and Irritator facts for kids.

Neovenator Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Neovenator '?

The name Neovenator is pronounced as ‘knee-oh-vena-tour'. Additionally, the entire scientific name of this dinosaur, which is Neovenator salerii, is pronounced as  ‘knee-oh-vena-tour sall-air-ee-eye’

What type of dinosaur was a Neovenator?

Neovenator is a Theropoda from the Wealden group and part of the Wessex Formation. The clade of theropod dinosaurs features three-toed limbs and hollowed bones. The Carnian age of the Late Triassic period, which occurred 231 million years ago, witnessed the appearance of the theropod dinosaur.

In which geological period did the Neovenator roam the earth?

Neovenators roamed the Earth during the Early Cretaceous period, in the Hauterivian era, which occurred 130-133 million years ago.

When did the Neovenator become extinct?

Belonging to the Early Cretaceous, these theropods were thought to go extinct in the Barremian age, which occurred 125 million years ago and was also a part of the Early or Lower Cretaceous time period. This data corresponds to the scientific reports of the area from which the fossil remains of Neovenator dating back to somewhere between 123-125 million years ago were collected.

Where did a Neovenator live?

The bones and remains of the Neovenator were discovered from the Isle of Wight, in the United Kingdom. More specifically, the remains were collected from Brightstone Bay, located southwest in the Isle of Wight. Quite recently, in the year 2012, teeth, very closely similar to that of Neovenator, were discovered from France.

What was a Neovenator's habitat?

Neovenator salerii (Hutt, Martill, and Barker, 1996), or new hunter dinosaur was a terrestrial theropod. The habitat of these dinosaurs is thought to feature an open plain with small meandering rivers. Such areas were covered with bracken and cycads, and a few trees. In terms of climate, the Cretaceous period featured a warm and humid climate, so the ecosystem of these dinosaurs had fairly high temperature and humidity levels.

Who did a Neovenator live with?

Much of the social structure and hierarchy of a Neovenator remains largely unknown due to the lack of discovery of a group of fossils belonging to more than one Neovenator dinosaur. In general, reptiles are known to gather in a frenzied manner to hunt down larger prey. So, a group of Neovenators, especially the young ones, may have been part of gatherings to feed. Additionally, the male and female Neovenator dinosaurs certainly came together for mating.

How long did a Neovenator live?

The estimated natural lifespan of the Neovenator is thought to be 23 years.

How did they reproduce?

Unfortunately, a lot of information regarding the reproductive behavior of Neovenators is not known. However, it is known that just like other dinosaurs, Neovenators were oviparous, meaning, they reproduced by laying eggs. In general, theropod dinosaurs probably displayed internal fertilization. Females laid their eggs in nests. The eggs were much more hard-shelled in comparison to eggs of crocodiles and other reptiles. Usually, the litter size has been observed to be between 15-25 eggs in theropods, so the same can be assumed about Neovenators.

Neovenator Fun Facts

What did a Neovenator look like?

The physical description of the Neovenator which has been reconstructed using the fossil remains makes this species quite a fascinating creature. Neovenatars were significantly large in size, but with a gracile build. The long body was balanced with a long tail. The first specimen of Neovenator to be recovered had shoulder blades, however, the rest of the arm bones were missing. So, reconstructions for the arms were done based on allosaurus, of the family Allosauroidea, to which the Neovenator was closely related. These dinosaurs walked on their hind legs. Each of their foot had three clawed toes, so it has been estimated that each hand had three digits as well. Each of the toe-claws was provided with a groove on top.

Coming to the facial features, some interesting characters make the Neovenator stand out. These creatures had significantly prominent nostrils, the length of which were two times its height. The premaxilla of the snout had five teeth, with each tooth being serrated and blade-like, further proving their carnivorous nature. Right above the eyes, horned extensions were present on the surface of the skull. They also had paired nasal crests which appeared to be elevated from the skin surface, a trait shared with the allosaurus of Allosauroidea. Overall, the Neovenator of Isle of Wight had a narrow skull, which appeared taller rather than wider.

Neovenator was carnivorous in nature.

How many bones did a Neovenator have?

The total number of bones in the skeleton of a Neovenator salerii dinosaur (Hutt, Martill, and Barker, 1996) has not been established, since an entire preserved skeleton of this dinosaur has not been discovered, yet. The bones that had been secured from the Isle of Wight include teeth, front lower jaw, ribs, chevrons, belly ribs, snout bone, a major part of the vertebral column, a hindlimb, pelvic bone, and one shoulder girdle. All this constitutes about 70% of the entire skeleton of a Neovenator.

How did they communicate?

The exact communication patterns used by a Neovenator dinosaur have not been established. In general, it has been estimated that dinosaurs communicated through vocal and visual cues.

How big was a Neovenator?

These carnivorous dinosaurs had quite a massive length and height. While the remains of the specimen suggest a length of about 24.6 ft (7.5 m), the height was measured at 8.2 ft (2.5 m). In comparison to the famous theropod Tyrannosaurus species, which had a height between 12-20 ft (3.7-6.1 m), this specimen of Neovenator dinosaur is significantly smaller.

How fast could a Neovenator move?

The speed of a Neovenator dinosaur probably varied depending on its age, size, and health. However, an overall estimate has put the speed of this dinosaur at 20 mph (32.2 kph). Given the gracile build of this dinosaur, it could achieve a speed of this dimension, despite being quite large in size.

How much did a Neovenator weigh?

The estimated weight of a Neovenator dinosaur is between 2204.6-4409.2 lb (1000-2000 kg). This weight is comparable to that of an Allosaurus, weighing 4409.2 lb (2000 kg), belonging to the clade, family, and subfamily of Theropoda, Allosauroidea, and Allosaurinae, respectively.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no separate names for the male and female members of the Neovenator species. They are simply referred to as male and female Neovenators.

What would you call a baby Neovenator?

A baby Neovenator is known as a hatchling.

What did they eat?

This dinosaur was carnivorous in nature and one of the apex predators. It has been concluded that their diet consisted of the meat of smaller dinosaurs like iguanodon and hypsilophodon. For juvenile Neovenators, the diet may have also included insects, eggs, or young animals.

How aggressive were they?

As an apex predator of quite a large size and bearing sharp serrated teeth, it can certainly be inferred that the Neovenator dinosaur was quite aggressive as well. Judging by the holotype fossil of the Neovenator, the hunting style of this dinosaur species has been assumed to be following an ambush-style, instead of endurance pursuit type.

Did you know...

The snout or rostrum in the skull of the Neovenator dinosaur had a complex network of neurovascular canals. This complex system was located on the lateral side of the tooth row, leading researchers to believe that these canals had no influence on the teeth of the dinosaur. It also had no interaction with the sinuses in the skull. Apart from these reasons, additional factors have led researchers to infer that these canals on the rostrum of the Neovenator dinosaur functioned as sensory organs. These complex canals had branches of the trigeminal nerve and fifth cranial nerve. The fifth cranial nerve further branched into three sections. Interestingly, the fifth cranial nerve is the largest and responsible for relaying motor and sensory information.

The function of this sensory system in this species could be related to thermal and pressure reception, precision feeding, and controlling the jaw muscles and bones. It could have also played a part in sensing nest conditions and courtships.

What do you mean by the term Neovenator?

The name 'Neovenator' is the combination of the Greek word 'neo' meaning 'new', and the Latin word 'venator' meaning 'hunter'. Hence, the whole name translates to 'New Hunter'. The entire scientific name of this species is Neovenator salerii (Hutt, Martill, and Baker, 1996). This species name was taken from the Salero family, who owned the land from which the fossils and remains of this dinosaur were discovered.

Where was Neovenator found?

The first fossil record of Neovenator was found in the year 1978 in the Isle of Wight, in the United Kingdom. This specimen became the holotype for the dinosaur. Further expeditions in the Isle of Wight resulted in the discovery of more bones of three individual Neovenators, in the years 1985-1987. In 2012, teeth remains which were strikingly similar to that of the Neovenator dinosaur were recovered from the Angeac lignitic bone bed of France, extending the geographical area of the Neovenator. While the initial description of this species of dinosaur was provided by Hutt, Martill, and Barker, a more detailed description was given by Brusatte, Benson, and Hutt, in 2008.

 Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Incisivosaurus facts, or Xenotarsosaurus facts for kids.

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

Main image by Fred Wierum.

Second image by Nobu Tamura.

Fun Neovenator Facts For Kids

How Much Did They Weigh?

2204.6-4409.2 lb (1000-2000 kg)

Skin Type

Bumpy scales

How Long Were They?

24.6 ft (7.5 m)

How Tall Were They?

8.2 ft (2.5 m)

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Reptilia

Genus

Neovenator

Family

Neovenatoridae

Scientific Name

Neovenator salerii

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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