Eotyrannus compared to Gorgosaurus

Updated Marc 28, 2018 with the realization that the purported nasal is actually the nasal + frontal + broken lacrimals. 

Hutt et al. 2001
brought us the bits and pieces of an Early Cretaceous (Barremian, 125 mya) theropod assigned to the Tyrannosauroidea, Eotyrannus from Southern England. All the other tyrannosaurs are Late Cretaceous from Eastern Asia and Western North America.

From the abstract
“Numerous character states are shared with tyrannosaurids but the new taxon appears to be excluded from the group that comprises aublysodontine and tyrannosaurine tyrannosaurids. We conclude that the taxon is a basal tyrannosauroid and as such it is one of the earliest and (with the exception of some teeth and an isolated ilium from Portugal) the first from Europe.”

The authors provided a reconstruction that was unlike
that of any other theropod in the large reptile tree. The tall naris and rectangular profile (Fig. 1, lower right) are unknown elsewhere among tested taxa.

Figure 1. The bits and pieces of Eotyrannus restored as a skull. It appears the original nasal is actually the nasal + frontal and some lateral bones.

Figure 1. The bits and pieces of Eotyrannus restored as a skull. It appears the original nasal is actually the nasal + frontal and some lateral bones. Original restoration at lower right. Gorgosaurus at upper right.

Here (Fig. 1), the bits and pieces
come together as a very gorgosaur-ish theropod, but it arrives pretty darn early in the fossil record. There’s a nice fused set of nasals—a very tyrannosaur-ish trait. Even so, there’s not very much to work with. In the last round of changes to the theropod subset I dropped Eotyrannus from the (LRT). Just too few characters to work with.

References
Hutt S, Naish D, Martill DM, Barker MJ and Newbery P 2001. A preliminary account of a new tyrannosauroid theropod from the Wessex Formation (Early Cretaceous) of southern England. Cretaceous Research 22:227-242.
Naish D 2011. Theropod Dinosaurs, chapter 29 in Batten DJ (ed) English Wealden Fossils. The Palaeontological Association (London), pp. 526-559.

wikiEotyrannus

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