Temporal range: Late Jurassic, 145 Ma
|Mounted replica skeleton|
Royo-Torres, Cobos & Alcala, 2006
Royo-Torres et al., 2006
Turiasaurus (meaning "Turia lizard"; Turia is the Latin name of Teruel) is a genus of sauropod dinosaurs. It is known from a single fossil specimen representing the species T. riodevensis, found in a Spanish rock formation dated to the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary, around 140 million years old.
Turiasaurus is believed to be the largest dinosaur ever found in Europe, and is among the largest dinosaurs known, at 36–39 metres (118–128 ft) in length and with a weight of 40 to 48 tonnes, the combined weight of six or seven adult male elephants. More recent estimates suggest a length of 30 metres (98 ft) in length, but a comparable weight of 50 tonnes. The length of its skull is 70 centimetres, which is not too large. According to the paleontologist Luis Alcalá, this is because a larger head might have caused Turiasaurus to break its neck.
Fragmentary remains of this animal, including an articulated left forelimb (holotype), skull fragments, teeth, vertebrae and ribs, have been found in terrestrial deposits of the Villar del Arzobispo Formation of Riodeva (Teruel Province, Eastern Spain), and a forelimb from Portugal. The fossils were once known informally as "Riodevasaurus", a nomen nudum. The type species, Turiasaurus riodevensis, was formally described by Royo-Torres, Cobos & Alcala, in 2006. In the early 2010s, excavations were made east of Madrid that uncovered the most complete fossil of such creatures in the whole world.
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