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Lourinhanosaurus

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lourinhanosaurus

Lourinhanosaurus (Sergey Krasovskiy)

Name:

Lourinhanosaurus (Greek for "Lourinha lizard"); pronounced lore-in-HAHN-oh-SORE-us

Habitat:

Woodlands of western Europe

Historical Period:

Late Jurassic (150 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 20 feet long and 1-2 tons

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Medium size; long arms

About Lourinhanosaurus:

One of the few large theropods to be discovered in Portugal, Lourinhanosaurus (named after that country's Lourinha Formation) has proven difficult to classify: paleontologists can't decide if it was most closely related to Allosaurus, Sinraptor or the equally obscure Megalosaurus. This late Jurassic predator is noteworthy for two reasons: first, scientists have identified gastroliths among its fossilized stomach contents, which Lourinhanosaurus clearly swallowed on purpose rather than ingesting by accident when eating herbivorous dinosaurs. And second, a clutch of about 100 Lourinhanosaurus eggs, some containing fossilized embryos, have been found close to the original excavation site.

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