Learn about a new prehistoric animal every week with us. It will be a blast!
STL Science Center
24 July 2013
Welcome to Wednesday
Nathan Eldon Tanner probably never expected to have a dinosaur named after him. He did, however, and it just happened to be one of the largest predators of the Jurassic that happens to have had material located on two continents. Torvosaurustanneri is a pretty interesting dinosaur for reasons other than its linked history via its name with the Church of Latter Day Saints. The Portuguese material attributed to Torvosaurus consists of a single tibia; that is some pretty distinctive bone matter to be able to be attributed to a species from another continent based entirely on that sole fragment of an entire living being. Colorado material is slightly more substantial, obviously, given that the animal was described and possesses enough characters to not only definitively differentiate from other North American Jurassic predators but also to warrant a proposal to elevate its status to that of a principal family. Torvosaurus was, as the flora and fauna discovered in and around the area in which Torvosaurus was discovered in Colorado, a predator that lived near rivers, wetlands, and an alkaline lake (Portuguese data of the habitat of Torvosaurus is not known in full at this time). All kinds of animals and plants were discovered in the Dry Mesa Quarry of Montrose County Colorado (along the border of Colorado and Utah). Studies of the channel flow velocity and deposition of bones in the dry Mesa Quarry have been done, but at the moment I do not have the data that shows where within the channel Torvosaurus material was discovered. It appears that predator remains are concentrated in the lower velocity areas of the channel flow, according to the study.