[D] Afrovenator abakensis [Su] [sG] [T]
Sereno, Wilson , Larsson, Dutheil & Sues, 1994
Cretaceous Early Hauterivian Barremian
Saurischia Theropoda Tetanurae Torvosauridae
Tiouraren Formation, In Abaka, Niger
Genus - Typespecies - Skull
Afrovenator abakensis UC OBA 1 [holotype]: skull lacking much of mandibles & parts of snout & roof; cervical vertebrae (some articulated); incomplete dorsal & caudal series; ribs; pelvis; nearly complete forelimbs; hindlimbs, excavated in the Sahara desert in Niger in 1993, by a team from the University of Chicago headed by Paul Sereno.
Afrovenator (\\\\\\\"African hunter\\\\\\\") with its sickle-clawed three -fingered hands and 2-inch-long bladelike teeth, closely resembles the western North American Allosaurus, which thrived in the Jurassic Late, about 160 milion years ago (Oxfordian).
Afrovenator abakenesis, lived approximately 130 million years ago and represents the first nearly complete carnivorous dinosaur from the Cretaceous Period excavated on Africa. Afrovenator is a tetanuran theropod (the dinosaur group that gave rise to birds) and a close relative of Allosaurus from North America, easily recognized by their three-fingered hands and the hollow crest in front of the eye socket. Afrovenator’s skull is low, with poorly developed cranial crests and rugosities , and the skeleton is also relatively gracile . The humerus is somewhat longer than in Allosaurus. Its jaw contained about 60 blade-shaped, serrated teeth, each 5cm (2 in) long. It\\\\\\\'s long tail was stiffened by overlapping, bony struts.
In 1925 paleontologist Janensch described an allosaurid tibia from the Kimmeridgian (150 million years ago) (Late Jurassic) from the Tendaguru Beds, of Mtwara, in Tanzania and called it Allosaurus tendagurensis. Possible Afrovenator is a descendent of this African canivore. However, Sereno has said in Science magazine that based on the discovery of both Afrovenator and Deltadromeus, \\\\\\\"I think there was some kind of a tenuous land bridge [linking Africa and Europe] for several million years after\\\\\\\" the initial breakup of Pangaea. \\\\\\\"That bridge prevented the evolution, in isolation, of a unique southern dinosaur fauna.\\\\\\\"