Piatnitzkysaurus (Greek for "Piatnitzsky's lizard"); pronounced pyat-NIT-skee-SORE-us
Woodlands of South America
Middle Jurassic (175-165 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 14 feet long and 1,000 pounds
Long, stiff tail; bipedal stance; ridges on snout
It's hard to work up much of a sweat about a dinosaur named "Piatnitzky," but the fierce carnivore Piatnitzkysaurus terrorized the plant-eaters of middle Jurassic South America. Closely related to another early theropod, Megalosaurus, Piatnitzkysaurus was distinguished by the crests on its head and its long, stiff tail, which it probably used for balance when chasing down prey. It clearly partook of the same body plan as later, bigger, and more dangerous theropods like Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex.