Aviatyrannis (Greek for "grandmother tyrant"); pronounced AY-vee-ah-tih-RAN-iss
Woodlands of western Europe
Late Jurassic (155-150 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 3 feet long and 10 pounds
Small size; bipedal stance
Way back toward the end of the Jurassic period, 150 million years ago, tyrannosaurs were small, slender, lightweight predators, not the five-ton monsters that dominated the late Cretaceous. Not all paleontologists agree, but Aviatyrannis ("grandmother tyrant") seems to have been one of the first true tyrannosaurs, preceded only by the Asian Guanlong and very similar (and perhaps identical) to the North American Stokesosaurus. Pending more fossil evidence, we may never known if Aviatyrannis deserves its own genus or was actually a species (or specimen) of this latter dinosaur.