|Scientific name :||Torvosaurus gurneyi|
|Time period :||Late Jurassic|
|Primary diet :||Carnivore|
|In the series|
|Fatalities caused :||2 Miragaias|
|Appearances :||The Watering Hole|
Physical Characteristics Edit
Torvosaurus was a very large predator, with an estimated maximum body length of 10 metres (33 ft) and mass of 4–5 tonnes (3.9–4.9 long tons; 4.4–5.5 short tons) for both T. tanneri and T. gurneyi, making Torvosaurus among the largest carnivores of the Jurassic. Claims have been made indicating even larger sizes. The synonymous Edmarka rex was named thus because it was assumed to rival Tyrannosaurus rex in length. Likewise "Brontoraptor" was supposed to be a torvosaur of gigantic size. The T. gurneyi specimens from Portugal initially prompted larger size estimates to be made. In 2006 a lower end of a thighbone, specimen ML 632, was referred to Torvosaurus sp. and later to T. gurneyi. This specimen was initially stated to indicate a length of 11 m (36 ft). Applying the extrapolation method of J.F. Anderson, correlating mammal weights to their femur circumference, resulted in a weight of 1930 kilogrammes. However, revised estimates performed in 2014 suggested a slightly smaller total body size for this specimen, of about 10 m (33 ft). Among the differentiating features between T. gurneyi and T. tanneri are the number of teeth and size and shape of mouth. While the upper jaw of T. tanneri has more than 11 teeth, that of T. gurneyi has less.
Torvosaurus had an elongated, narrow snout, with a kink in its profile just above the large nostrils. The frontmost snout bone, the praemaxilla, bore three rather flat teeth oriented somewhat outwards with the front edge of the teeth crown overlapping the outer side of the rear edge of the preceding crown. The maxilla was tall and bore at least eleven rather long teeth. The antorbital fenestra was relatively short. The lacrimal bone had a distinctive lacrimal horn on top; its lower end was broad in side view. The eye socket was tall with a pointed lower end. The jugal was long and transversely thin. The lower front side of the quadrate bone was hollowed out by a tear-shaped depression, the contact surface with the quadratojugal. Both the neck vertebrae and the front dorsal vertebrae had relatively flexible ball-in-socket joints. The balls, on the front side of the vertebral centra, had a wide rim, a condition by Britt likened to a Derby hat. The tail base was stiffened in the vertical plane by high and in side view wide neural spines. The upper arm was robust; the lower arm robust but short. Whether the thumb claw was especially enlarged, is uncertain. In the pelvis, the ilium resembled that of Megalosaurus and had a tall, short, front blade and a longer pointed rear blade. The pelvis as a whole was massively built, with the bone skirts between the pubic bones and the ischia contacting each other and forming a vaulted closed underside.
Fossilized remains of Torvosaurus have been found in North America and Portugal. In 1971, Vivian Jones, of Delta, Colorado (USA), in the Calico Gulch Quarry in Moffat County, discovered a single gigantic thumb claw of a theropod. This was shown to James Alvin Jensen, a collector working for the Brigham Young University. In an effort to discover comparable fossils, Vivian's husband Daniel Eddie Jones directed Jensen to the Dry Mesa Quarry, where abundant gigantic theropod bones, together with Supersaurus remains, proved present in rocks of the Morrison Formation. From 1972 onwards the site was excavated by Jensen and Kenneth Stadtman. The genus and the type species T. tanneri were named and described in 1979 by Peter Malcom Galton and Jensen. In 1985 Jensen could report a considerable amount of additional material, among it the first skull elements. The fossils from Colorado were further described by Brooks Britt in 1991.
The holotype BYU 2002 originally consisted of upper arm bones (humeri) and lower arm bones (radii andulnae). The paratypes included some back bones, hip bones, and hand bones. When the material described in 1985 is added, the main missing elements are the shoulder girdle and the thighbone. The original thumb claw, specimen BYUVP 2020, was only provisionally referred as it had been found in a site 195 kilometres away from the Dry Mesa Quarry. The holotype and paratypes represented at least three individuals: two adults and a juvenile. In 1991 Britt concluded that there was no proof that the front limbs of the holotype were associated and chose the left humerus as the lectotype. Several single bones and teeth found in other American sites have been referred to Torvosaurus.
In 1992, fossils of a large theropod found at Como Bluff in Wyoming, were named by Robert T. Bakker e.a. as the species Edmarka rex. This is often considered a junior synonym of Torvosaurus. The same site has rendered comparable remains for which the nomen nudum Brontoraptorhas been used.
In 2000, material from Portugal was referred to a Torvosaurus sp. by Octávio Mateus and Miguel Telles Antunes. In 2006 fossils from the Portuguese Lourinhã Formation were referred to Torvosaurus tanneri. In 2012 however, Matthew Carrano e.a. concluded that this material could not be more precisely determined than a Torvosaurus sp. In 2013 eggs and embryos were reported from Portugal, referred to Torvosaurus. The species from Portugal was named T. gurneyi in honour of James Gurney in 2014. It is the largest theropod known from Europe. It was the morphological variability of holotype maxilla ALT–SHN.116 that led to the naming of the Portuguese species.
In Dinosaur Revolution, it is seen stepping on the neck of a dying Miragaia, and then snaps its neck with its foot.
It appears again, drooling next to the Rhamphorhynchus and Ornitholestes (probably another species of coelurosaur), who are fighting. They are then scared away by the Torvosaurus. Broken Jaw the Allosaurus sees it and gets scared. At 33-34 feet and weighing 3-3.5 tons, it was one of the last megalosaurid.
It is seen again, attacking a family of Miragaia, grabbing a youngster and shaking it to death. Broken Jaw, who is watching, is impressed, and thinks it's just another creature he can take out.
After Broken Jaw is done drinking, it appears again, resting on his spot. After getting the Torvosaurus's attention with a warning display, it attacks Broken Jaw, swiping him to the ground with its hand claws, and biting his pelvis. But as it tries to disembowel Broken Jaw, it is distracted by the Ornitholestes attacking the Rhamphorhynchus. In the Torvosaurus' distraction, Broken Jaw escapes. The Torvosaurus lets him go, but still takes his spot.
It wakes up and goes to the watering hole, trying to attack a wounded and young Dinheirosaurus. He tries to go for it, but the adult protects the youngster as it walks away. He accidentally almost steps on a baby Miragaia, and one of the adults hits him hard in the leg with its tail spikes. He gets annoyed and knocks down the sauropod to the ground. He goes after the baby sauropod and swipes it to the ground, biting its injured leg, but the baby manages to fend him off. Broken Jaw has recovered, and bites down on the Torvosaurus neck, but the Torvosaurus shakes him off and tries to disembowel Broken Jaw again, but the adult sauropod rears up and crushes the Torvosaurus, leaving it easy prey as Broken Jaw eats him.