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 the only known abelisaur (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).