Veterupristisaurus milneri by teratophoneus-d4xu51n

Veterupristisaurus is a carcharodontosaurid from Jurassic Tanzania. It is among the earliest known carcharodontosaurid. This little known predator was probably one of the most dangerous predators in all of the Jurassic. The current specimen found seems to have been about 33-36 feet (10-11 meters), although adult size may have been ever larger. It is a bit odd that this animal is not more popular, as it marked the beginning of the more advanced theropods that would later dominate the Cretaceous. Most theropods in the Jurassic are not as advanced as Veterupristisaurus. Animals like Allosaurus, Saurophaganax, and Torvosaurus were more primitive, despite being some of the most advanced animals of the Jurassic. Veterupristisaurus is the first of the carcharodontosaurids, which means it was almost like a Cretaceous predator in the Jurassic. What this means as well is that it would have been much more powerful than most other Jurassic predators, as Allosaurus and its relatives, although being quite large and in some cases massive (see Saurophaganax), usually had weak overall body builds and were built more for speed and causing bleeding damage. Veterupristisaurus is a more basal member of the family Carcharodontosauridae, eventually leading to more derived members like Carcharodontosaurus.


Veterupristisaurus would have been the dominant predator in Africa. Torvosaurus and Saurophaganax, as far as we know, were not present in Africa and even if they were Veterupristisaurus would have been just as dominant. Whereas allosaurids relied only on bleeding damage to kill prey, Veterupristisaurus used both power and bleeding damage in a deadly combination. It had slicing teeth perfect for causing heavy bleeding, but at the same time a powerful overall body build and one of the most powerful bites of any Jurassic theropod. The other primary predator in Tanzania was Ostafrikasaurus, an unclassified 30 foot animal likely in Ceratosauria.

Evolutionary Importance[]

Veterupristisaurus is very important in the evolution of theropod dinosaurs. It marks the start of not only the carcharodontosaurids but of the advanced theropods that dominated the Cretaceous, the most dangerous large land predators in Earth history. These groups are the carcharodontosaurids, spinosaurids, and tyrannosaurids. These are not the only dominant theropods in the Cretaceous, but the groups that include large apex theropods. Animals like dromaeosaurids, troodontids, etc. would be better represented by a smaller theropod. Veterupristisaurus was ahead of its time, and therefore had a significant advantage over other predators, thus making it very successful.