A redescription of 'Megalosaurus' hesperis (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Inferior Oolite (Bajocian, Middle Jurassic) of Dorset, United Kingdom

  • Benson R
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'Megalosaurus' hesperis from the Inferior Oolite (Bajocian, Middle Jurassic) of Dorset, UK is redescribed. Several features of 'M.' hesperis demonstrate that it is distinct from the lectotype dentary of Megalosaurus: an enlarged, subcircular third alveolus and subcylindrical, anteriorly inclined anterior dentary teeth; an anterior Meckelian foramen located almost directly anterior to the posterior Meckelian foramen; low interdental plates; and a prominent lip bounding the Meckelian groove ventrally, anterior to the Meckelian fossa. Therefore a new genus, Duriavenator, is erected to form the new combination D. hesperis. D. hesperis possesses two autapomorphies of the maxilla: a deep groove on dorsal surface of the jugal process containing numerous pneumatic foramina; and an array of small foramina in the ventral part of the articular surface for the premaxilla. Several features confirm the tetanuran affinities of D. hesperis: a prominent anterior process of the maxilla; the presence of band-like dental enamel wrinkles; the maxillary 'fenestra' is present but takes the form of an imperforate fossa (a spinosauroid synapomorphy); and the paradental groove is wide anteriorly, defining a distinct gap between the interdental plates and the medial wall of the dentary (a synapomorphy of Spinosauridae + Megalosauridae). Older records of tetanurans have been proposed, but most of these have been refuted and detailed re-examination of other early reports is warranted to establish the date of origin of this clade. An early Middle Jurassic origin of tetanurans is preferred.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Dinosaur
  • Duriavenator
  • Megalosaurus
  • Tetanuran origins
  • Theropoda

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  • PUI: 352705818
  • ISBN: 1175-5326
  • ISSN: 11755326
  • SGR: 56349101686
  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-56349101686


  • Roger B J Benson

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