16 May 2014
New Hunters of Europe
The Isle of Wight is famous for its fossil discoveries (and probably something that as an American I do not know about) including the allosaurid Neovenator salerii. Originally unearthed in 1978, it was not until 1989 that the majority of the fossil was excavated and not until 1996 was Neovenator officially described by Hutt, Martill, and Barker. Since that time the family of Neovenator has been assigned and then reassigned (most recently by Benson, Carrano, and Brusatte in 2010). Originally considered to be nearly related to the North African dinosaur Carcharodontosaurus, the 2010 reassignment of the family created a new grouping called the Neovenatoridae. In its currently understood clade relationships it is still considered an allosaurid, but is thought to also be closely related to megaraptors. Pathology of the known fossil remains are also evident and will provide a discussion point or two during this week. Neovenator is a new hunter, but it has many old stories to tell.