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Australovenator

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australovenator

Australovenator (Sergey Krasovskiy)

Name:

Australovenator (Greek for "Australian hunter"); pronounced AW-strah-low-VEN-ah-tore

Habitat:

Woodlands of Australia

Historical Period:

Middle Cretaceous (100 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 20 feet long and a few hundred pounds

Diet:

Meat

Distinguishing Characteristics:

Long legs, arms and tail; sleek build

About Australovenator:

Australovenator is the third of a trio of Australian dinosaurs announced in 2009, the other two being huge, herbivorous titanosaurs. This dinosaur has been classified as an allosaur, a distinctive type of large theropod, and it seems to have been a lightly built, sleek predator (the paleontologist who named it has likened it to a modern cheetah). Australovenator was unlikely to have hunted the 10-ton titanosaurs it was discovered near, but it probably made a good living off the smaller plant-eaters of middle Cretaceous Australia. (By the way, recent analysis has shown that Australovenator was a close relative of the impressively named Megaraptor, a large theropod from South America.)

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