Journal of Iberian Geology

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 33–59 | Cite as

New data on the anatomy of Torvosaurus and other remains of megalosauroid (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Upper Jurassic of Portugal

  • E. MalafaiaEmail author
  • P. Mocho
  • F. Escaso
  • F. Ortega
Research Article


A set of cranial and postcranial specimens, including two partial maxillae, several isolated teeth, vertebrae and appendicular elements of theropod dinosaurs is described. These specimens were collected in different Upper Jurassic sites from the Lusitanian Basin (Portugal) and show several characters that allow its identification as belonging to megalosauroid tetanurans. Some of these elements have a combination of features exclusively shared with other megalosaurids known in the Portuguese record, in particular with the recently described species Torvosaurus gurneyi from synchronic sedimentary levels. The geographic and stratigraphic distribution of the specimens of megalosauroids currently known in the Portuguese record indicates that members of this clade were relatively abundant from the upper Kimmeridgian to the lowermost Tithonian of the Lusitanian Basin, especially in the Consolação Sub-basin. The analysis of the different specimens described allows testing hypotheses about the distribution and variability of some characters among the Portuguese forms related to Torvosaurus.


Dinosauria Theropoda Megalosauroidea Torvosaurus Kimmeridgian–Tithonian Lusitanian Basin 


Se describen varios elementos craneales y postcraneales, incluyendo dos fragmentos maxilares, varios dientes aislados, vértebras y elementos apendiculares de dinosaurios terópodos provenientes de diferentes localidades del Jurásico Superior de la cuenca lusitánica. Este conjunto de evidencias osteológicas presenta una combinación de caracteres que permite identificarlos como pertenecientes a tetanuros megalosauroideos. Algunos de estos elementos presentan características compartidas con Torvosaurus gurneyi, especie recientemente descrita en niveles sedimentarios sincrónicos. La distribución geográfica y estratigráfica de los ejemplares de megalosauroideos conocidos en la actualidad en el registro portugués sugiere que este clado era relativamente abundante en el Kimmeridgiense superior y Tithoniense inferior de la cuenca lusitánica, sobre todo en la subcuenca de Consolação. El análisis de los diferentes ejemplares descritos ha permitido comprobar algunas hipótesis sobre la distribución y variabilidad de algunos caracteres en las formas portuguesas afines a Torvosaurus.

Palabras clave

Dinosauria Theropoda Megalosauroidea Torvosaurus Kimmeridgiese–Tithoniense Cuenca lusitánica 



This work was supported by SFRH/BD/84746/2012 PhD scholarship, financed by the “Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia” (Portugal). Individual grants to E.M. visits for review collections were financed by the Jurassic Foundation, Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento [Grant Number L07-V-22/2010] and Synthesys [grant number GB-TAF-2160 and FR-TAF-4911]. The study was also supported by a protocol between CMTV and SHN. We thank J. Barrinha for photographs of some elements, J. J. Santos and C. Anunciação for field assistance, M. Cachão and N. Pimentel for comments to the paper, and for allow accessing specimens to B. C. Silva (SHN, Portugal), R. Castanhinha and C. Tomás (ML, Portugal), V. Santos (MUHNAC, Portugal), E. Espilez and R. Royo-Torres (Fundación Conjunto Paleontológico de Teruel-Dinópolis, Spain), E. D. Berenguer and J. I. Canudo (Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain), R. Allain (MNHN, France), L. Chiappe (NHMLAC, USA), L. Ivy and K. Carpenter (DMNH, USA), T. Schossleitner (HNM, Germany), R. Scheetz and B. Britt (BYU, USA), M. Getty, M. Loewen, and R. Irmis (NHMU, USA), D. Chure (DINO, USA), S. Chapman (NHMUK, UK), and P. Jeffery (OUMNH, UK). Comments made by X. P. Suberbiola, an anonymous reviewer and the editor helped improve an early version of this paper.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Malafaia
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • P. Mocho
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • F. Escaso
    • 2
    • 4
  • F. Ortega
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculdade de Ciências, Instituto Dom Luiz and Museu Nacional de História Natural e da CiênciaUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Laboratório de Paleontologia e PaleoecologiaSociedade de História NaturalTorres VedrasPortugal
  3. 3.The Dinosaur InstituteNatural History Museum of Los Angeles CountyLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Grupo de Biología Evolutiva, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad Nacional de Educación a DistanciaMadridSpain

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