Temporal range: Middle Jurassic–Holocene, 170–0Ma Possible Early Jurassic record
|Reconstructed coelurosaur skeleton, Wyoming Dinosaur Center|
Avetheropoda was named by Gregory S. Paul in 1988, and was first defined as a clade by Currie and Padian in 1997, to include Allosaurus, modern birds, and other animals descended from their most recent ancestor. This same definition was used by Paul Sereno one year later for a clade he named Neotetanurae ("new tetanurans"), which is still used by some researchers in place of Avetheropoda.
- Sereno, 1998. A rationale for phylogenetic definitions, with application to the higher-level taxonomy of Dinosauria. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie Abhandlungen. 210, 41-83.