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ARCOVENATOR

a carnivorous abelisauroid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of France.
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Pronunciation: ahr-KO-veh-NAY-tuhr
Meaning: Arc (river) hunter
Author/s: Tortosa et al. (2013)
Synonyms: None known
First Discovery: Puy-Saint-Martin, France
Chart Position: 672

Arcovenator escotae

Arcovenator has a more exciting tale to tell than most. It was dug up with what paleontologists believe to be a Neolithic-age human skeleton near the city commune of Aix-en-Provence during the widening of the A8 motorway between Châteauneuf-le-Rouge and Saint Maximin. Sadly, that doesn't prove the co-existance of man and dinosaur because there was some 75 million years-worth of muck between them. But Arcosaurus did succeed where the fragmentary Tarascosaurus had so miserably failed; by proving without doubt that abelisaurids inhabited what is now France—which belonged to a European archipelago—during the Late Cretaceous.

Like many abelisaurid theropods, the skull of Arcosaurus is highly ornamented and somewhat dome-topped, but it is also very well-preserved, which is unusual for European members of the group. On the dinosaur family tree it appears to be closest to Majungasaurus—a fellow abelisaurid from Madagascar whose impressively-domed skull tricked palaeontologists into thinking it was a "head-banging" pachycephalosaur which they named Majungatholus. In fact, the pair are so similar in features that Thierry Tortosa and co-authors raised a new abelisaurid sub-family—Majungasaurinae—to house them in 2013, and threw in Indosaurus, Rahiolisaurus and Rajasaurus which are all from India.
(Escota's Arc River hunter)Etymology
Arcovenator is derived from "Arc" (for the River Arc which passes through Aix-en-Provence) and the Latin "venator" (hunter).
The species epithet, escotae, honors Escota, a motorway concession company which has been funding the excavation since 2006.
Discovery
The remains of Arcovenator were discovered in the Grès à Reptiles Formation near Pourrières, Var department, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France.
The holotype (ref?) includes a fragmentary skull with teeth, associated lower leg bones and tail vertebra. More tail vertebra and teeth found at the same depth and nearby were also referred to the species.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Late Cretaceous
Stage: Campanian
Age range: 76-72 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 6 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 750 Kg
Diet: Carnivore
Family Tree:
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Ceratosauria
Abelisauroidea
Abelisauridae
Majungasaurinae
Arcovenator
escotae
References
• Thierry Tortosa, Eric Buffetaut, Nicolas Vialle, Yves Dutour, Eric Turini, Gilles Cheylan (2013) "A new abelisaurid dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of southern France: Palaeobiogeographical implications".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "ARCOVENATOR :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 24th Feb 2017.
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