Tarascosaurus (Greek for "tarasque lizard"); pronounced tah-RASS-coe-SORE-us
Woodlands of western Europe
Late Cretaceous (80-70 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 30 feet long and 1-2 tons
Long, thick head; powerful legs
Named after the tarasque, a dragon of medieval French legend, Tarascosaurus is important for being one of the only known abelisaurs (a type of large theropod) to have lived in the northern hemisphere; most abelisaurs were native to South America or Africa. The fossil remains of this 30-foot-long dinosaur are so scattered that some paleontologists don't believe it merits its own genus; still, this hasn't kept Tarascosaurus from being featured on the Discovery Channel series Dinosaur Planet (where it was portrayed as an apex predator of late Cretaceous western Europe). Recently, another abelisaur has been discovered in France, Arcovenator.