Avetheropoda

All tetanurans other than the Spinosauroidea were part of a group of related theropods named the Avetheropoda. The origins of this group date from the Middle Jurassic, and the group consisted of several diverse subgroups representing, among others, the smallest known dinosaurs as well as some of the largest. It is also within the Avetheropoda ("bird theropods") that the first definitive link between dinosaurs and modern birds is seen. In fact, the clade Avetheropoda was defined by American paleontologist Gregory Paul (b. 1954) in 1986 to include all advanced theropods encompassed by taxa such as Allosaurus and birds, a view that has been further reinforced since that time by a crush of new theropod discoveries, including feathered dinosaurs in China and new finds from the Southern Hemisphere. The Avetheropoda is defined as a taxon including Allosaurus, the modern house sparrow, their most

THE LARGEST PREDATORY DINOSAURS

Theropod name

Spinosaiiriis

Giganotosaiirns

Mapiisaiirns

Carcharodontosaiirns

Tyratmosaiiriis

Acrocanthosaiirns

Phylogenetic affinity

Spinosaur

Carcharodontosaur

Carcharodontosaur

Carcharodontosaur

Tyrannosaur

Carcharodontosaur

Length

53 to 60 feet (16 to 18 m)

46 feet (13.7 m)

46 feet (13.7 m)

45 feet (13.5 m)

40 to 43 feet (12 to 13 m)

39 ft (12 m)

Weight

8 tons (7.2 tonnes)

7 tons (6.3 tonnes)

7 tons (6.3 tonnes)

7 tons (6.3 tonnes)

7 tons (6.3 tonnes)

5 tons (4.5 tonnes)

Location & time

North Africa, Late

Cretaceous

Argentina, Late Cretaceous

Argentina, Late Cretaceous

North Africa, Late Cretaceous

North America, Argentina, Late Cretaceous

North America, Early Cretaceous

Distinctions

Sail-backed; conical teeth; fish eater

Longest known theropod skull (6.4 ft/1.9 m); bladelike teeth

Rivals its close cousin Giganotosaiirns in size; bladelike teeth; deep skull

Bladelike teeth; skull length of 5.5 6 ft (1.6 m)

Short arms; two-clawed hands; banana-shaped teeth; skull length of 4.6 ft (1.4 m)

Largest North American theropod prior to tyrannosaurs

recent shared ancestor, and all of its descendants. The two major divisions found within the Avetheropoda, as discussed below, are the Carnosauria and Coelurosauria.

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