Fun Wiehenvenator Facts For Kids

Arpitha Rajendra
Jan 30, 2023 By Arpitha Rajendra
Originally Published on Sep 27, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Read more fun Wiehenvenator facts here.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.3 Min

Wiehenvenator is an extinct genus of predatory theropod dinosaurs of the family Megalosauridae. The species of this genus is from the Middle Jurassic (Callovian Age) Period of present-day Germany around 166-164 million years ago. While surveying for the Landschaftsvernband Westfalen-Lippe Museum of Natural History, Friedrich Albat, a geologist, discovered fossils of a large theropod at a Pott Quarry in Wiehen Hills near Minden in Westphalia. This common scientific name Wiehenvenator is a combination of the reference to 'Wiehn Hills', the German term Wiehengebirge, and the Latin 'venator' meaning 'hunter.' Tom R. Hübner, Oliver Rauhut, and Klaus-Peter Lanser named and described the type species in 2016 as Wiehenvenator albati. This specific scientific term honors the discoverer, Friedrich Albat. The species of Megalosauridae appeared in Middle Jurassic and Late Jurassic periods. Also, the primitive megalosaurids that belonged to the Early Jurassic had smaller bodies than those of the late Middle Jurassic. These species were informally known as Das Monster von Minden (Monster of Minden) when this discovery received extensive media attention. These dinosaurs are closely related to the Torvosaurus dinosaurs.

If you enjoyed reading these facts about the Wiehenvenator albati, then make sure to check out some fun facts about the Caviramus and Hesperosaurus.

Wiehenvenator Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Wiehenvenator'?

The pronunciation of Wiehenvenator is 'VEE-hen-VEN-uh-tor.'

What type of dinosaur was a Wiehenvenator?

Wiehenvenator albati ( Hubner, Rauhut, and Lanser) is a large predatory theropod dinosaur of the clade Saurischia and phylum Chordata. The phylogenetic analysis of the fossil remains allowed paleontologists to assign these new species, the largest ever discovered in Germany, to this genus, which is a group that went through constant diversification in the Middle Jurassic period. The discovery of bones of this Minden monster dinosaur was made within the geological formation called the Ornatenton Formation that mainly composed of a horizon of carbonate concretions, mudstones, and sandstones. This material is poorly preserved and the bones were heavily weathered out of neighboring sediments. There were also several cracks and breaks found in this material. When compared to other theropods like Allosaurus, these fossil remains were huge. phylogenetic analysis of the morphology of the preserved specimen showed that this dinosaur species can be assigned to a dinosaur group that went through rapid adaptive radiation in the Middle Jurassic. A study on theropod evolution and faunal turnover of Wiehenvenator states that the fossil shows a faunal turnover from the Middle Jurassic that was dominated by megalosauroids to Late Jurrasic faunas that were dominated by Allosauridae species like Allosaurus.

In which geological period did the Wiehenvenator roam the earth?

The fossil remains of Wiehenvenator albati ( Hubner, Rauhut, and Lanser) had sediments that dated back to the Middle Jurassic, Callovian age around 166-164 million years ago. Megalosaurids are all from the Middle-Late Jurassic around 170-145 million years ago.

When did the Wiehenvenator become extinct?

Wiehenvenator albati ( Hubner, Rauhut, and Lanser), of the Middle Jurassic, would have become extinct during the mass extinction event in the Cretaceous-Paleogene period around 66 million years ago. Also, most Megalosaurids became extinct around the end of the Jurassic-Cretaceous extinction period.

Where did a Wiehenvenator live?

These dinosaurs of the Middle Jurassic probably lived in a range across Germany, near Minden in Westphalia.

What was a Wiehenvenator's habitat?

This group of megalosaurids of the Middle Jurassic probably occupied islands or near marine or coastal habitats. This was concluded as the skeleton was found closer to fossil wood and marine invertebrates. It has also concurred that the body parts of this species washed away from the dry land to an area within the sea.

Who did a Wiehenvenator live with?

This group of dinosaurs probably lived and died in groups like all the other ones.

How long did a Wiehenvenator live?

The maximum or average lifespan of this Minden monster of the Middle Jurassic is unknown and more research needs to be done on their life expectancy. However, a histological analysis found that the holotype was more than nine years of age and their age might have been more than 10 at the time of their death.

How did they reproduce?

The reproduction of this dinosaur (Minden monster) is oviparous like the other dinosaur species. There is no data available related to the breeding, incubation, and parental care of this dinosaur species.

Wiehenvenator Fun Facts

What did a Wiehenvenator look like?

The radiation of the Wiehenvenator group was probably caused by the extinction event of the Pliensbachian-Toarcian period.

Wiehenvenator albati dinosaurs were described by the parts of their skull, jaw, teeth, ribs, tail vertebrae, and many other parts. The teeth of this species have a strong curve with the root and are more than two-thirds of the length of the tooth. These theropods (Minden monster) were bipedal and the holotype was of a subadult. They had short arms like the other bipedal species. It was also found that in the theropod group, megalosaurids went through explosive radiation. Their skull was held low and was quite long.

How many bones did a Wiehenvenator have?

The fossil remains of these dinosaurs that were discovered were not complete but well preserved. So, it is unknown how many bones were present in their skeleton. The body fossils that were found were parts of the skull, rib fragments, three tail vertebrae, six teeth, both fibulae, a finger phalanx, a right calcaneum, and a right astragalus. The remains showed that this specimen was growing but that the growth rate was low.

How did they communicate?

It is not known how exactly these megalosaurids communicated with each other. However, like the other dinosaurs, these might have communicated through body language, calls, and songs.

How big was a Wiehenvenator?

Wiehenvenator size range was 23-49 ft (7-15 m) long. It was estimated that fibulae and tail vertebrae were as big as those of Torvosaurus tanneri. The maxilla length of Wiehenvenator was 82% that of the related Torvosaurus gurneyi whose maxilla was 33f t (10 m) in length. The largest teeth found till now are 5.1 in (13 cm) in length. The length of this dinosaur is a little more compared to the Magnosaurus' size.

How fast could a Wiehenvenator move?

It is not known how fast these Megalosauroids were. It would depend on if they ran or walked, which is also not known.

How much did a Wiehenvenator weigh?

This dinosaur weighed around 0.83-1.32 short tons (0.75-1.2 tonnes). These dinosaurs are almost 2000 times heavier compared to Afrovenator.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There is no sex-specific name given to these megalosaurids

What would you call a baby Wiehenvenator?

There is no particular name assigned to these baby dinosaurs.

What did they eat?

The diet of these theropods was carnivorous. They preyed on small dinosaurs in packs.

How aggressive were they?

It is not known how aggressive these theropods were. However, they were highly predatory.

Did you know...

A few more sub-groups, or genera, of Megalosaurinae of the Late Jurassic, are Megalosaurus, Duriavenator, and Dubreuilloasurus. This group of dinosaurs from the Late Jurassic has been suggested to be scavengers or predators. Thomas Huxly first described Megalosauridae phylogenetically in 1869. The species Megalosaurus bucklandii and its genus was the first dinosaur group defined within this subfamily. The species was described and named by William Buckland in 1824 and the remains were found in Stonesfield, Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. The proposed mass of this species was 2078.9 lb (943 kg).

How did the Wiehenvenator get its name?

These theropods were named by Tom R. Hubner, Oliver Rauhut, and Klaus-Peter Lanser based on the German name Wiehengebirge given to the Wiehen Hills combining this with Venator a Latin name meaning 'hunter.' Also, the specific scientific name honors Friedrich Albat.

Who discovered the Wiehenvenator, when and where did they discover them?

While surveying for the Landschaftsvernband Westfalen-Lippe Museum of Natural History, Friedrich Albat, a geologist, discovered fossils of a large theropod at a Pott Quarry in Wiehen Hills near Minden in Westphalia. This was found in Ornatenton Formation.

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 Incisivosaurus facts, or Zuniceratops facts for kids.

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

Wiehenvenator Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Small dinosaurs

what Type of Animal were they?

Carnivore

Average Litter Size?

N/A

What Did They Look Like?

Large, bipedal

How Much Did They Weigh?

0.83-1.32 short tons (0.75-1.2 tonnes)

Skin Type

Scales

How Long Were They?

23-49 ft (7-15 m)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Reptilia

Genus

Wiehenvenator

Family

Megalosauridae

Scientific Name

Wiehenvenator albati

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?

Marine or coastal habitats, islands

Where Did They Live?

Westphalia, Germany
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Written by Arpitha Rajendra

Bachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

Arpitha Rajendra picture

Arpitha RajendraBachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

With a background in Aeronautical Engineering and practical experience in various technical areas, Arpitha is a valuable member of the Kidadl content writing team. She did her Bachelor's degree in Engineering, specializing in Aeronautical Engineering, at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020. Arpitha has honed her skills through her work with leading companies in Bangalore, where she contributed to several noteworthy projects, including the development of high-performance aircraft using morphing technology and the analysis of crack propagation using Abaqus XFEM.

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