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Temporal range: Kimmeridgian to Tithonian, Late Jurassic, 154–150 Ma
Skeletal diagram showing known remains
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Clade: Saurischia
Clade: Theropoda
Clade: Carcharodontosauria
Family: Carcharodontosauridae
Genus: Veterupristisaurus
Rauhut, 2011
V. milneri
Binomial name
Veterupristisaurus milneri
Rauhut, 2011

Veterupristisaurus is an extinct genus of carcharodontosaurid theropod dinosaur known from the Jurassic of Tendaguru, Lindi Region of southeastern Tanzania.[1]

Discovery and naming[edit]

Life restoration

Veterupristisaurus is known from the holotype specimen MB R 1938, an isolated middle caudal vertebra. Two partially fused posterior middle caudal vertebrae, MB R 2166, from the same locality as the holotype, are referred to this genus and most probably came from the same individual. The anterior caudal vertebra, MB R 1940, may also represent this genus. The holotype was collected in the St (EH) locality of the Tendaguru in German East Africa, from the Middle Dinosaur Member of the Tendaguru Formation, dating to the late Kimmeridgian to earliest Tithonian faunal stage of the Late Jurassic, about 154-150 million years ago. The holotype was originally referred to Ceratosaurus? roechlingi by Werner Janensch in 1925.[2]

Veterupristisaurus was named by Oliver W. M. Rauhut in 2011 and the type species is Veterupristisaurus milneri. The generic name translates as "old shark lizard". It refers to the fact that Veterupristisaurus is currently the oldest known representative of the "shark-toothed lizards", the carcharodontosaurids. The specific name honours the paleontologist Angela C. Milner.[1]


Size comparison

Veterupristisaurus was a large bipedal animal. The length of the holotype vertebra is about 123 mm (4.8 in). Veterupristisaurus has been estimated to have been about 8 m (26 ft) in length and to have weighed 1.65 t (1.82 short tons; 1.65 t),[3] based on the more complete and closely related Acrocanthosaurus. There are teeth from Tendaguru Formation that probably come from it.[4] Whether the individual represented by the holotype represents an adult individual cannot be determined based on the available material. It is diagnosed by a spinoprezygapophyseal lamina in the middle caudal vertebrae extending anteriorly to the midwidth of the base of the prezygapophysis and being flanked laterally by a short, parallel lamina extending from the lateral margin of the prezygapophysis posteriorly. Thus, Rauhut considered a sister-group relationship between Veterupristisaurus and Acrocanthosaurus within the Carcharodontosauridae.[1] Veterupristisaurus may be a juvenile of the unnamed "Megalosaurus" ingens.[3]


Veterupristisaurus is generally recovered as a member of the Carcharodontosauridae[1][5] although some studies find it to be a Carcharodontosaurian outside of Carcharodontosauridae instead.[6]

Cau (2024) found Veterupristisaurus to be a Carcharodontosaurid forming a clade with Sauroniops, Lusovenator, Eocarcharia, and Concavenator.


Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis (holotype maxilla)


Eocarcharia (referred maxilla)


Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis (referred cranial material)

Carcharodontosaurus saharicus (neotype)

Carcharodontosaurus saharicus (described by Stromer in 1931)


  1. ^ a b c d Rauhut, Oliver W. M. (2011). "Theropod dinosaurs from the Late Jurassic of Tendaguru (Tanzania)". Special Papers in Palaeontology. 86: 195–239.
  2. ^ W. Janensch. (1925). Die Coelurosaurier und Theropoden der Tendaguru-Schichten Deutsch-Ostafrikas [The coelurosaurs and theropods of the Tendaguru Formation of German East Africa]. Palaeontographica, Supplement VII. (1) 1(1):1-100
  3. ^ a b Molina-Pérez, Rubén; Larramendi, Asier; Connolly, David; Cruz, Gonzalo Ángel Ramírez (2019-06-25). Dinosaur Facts and Figures. Princeton Oxford: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-18031-1.
  4. ^ Holtz, Holtz R. (2012). "Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages" (PDF).
  5. ^ Cau, Andrea (2024). "A Unified Framework for Predatory Dinosaur Macroevolution". Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana. 63 (1): 1–19. doi:10.4435/BSPI.2024.08. ISSN 0375-7633.
  6. ^ Malafaia, Elisabete; Mocho, Pedro; Escaso, Fernando; Ortega, Francisco (2020-01-02). "A new carcharodontosaurian theropod from the Lusitanian Basin: evidence of allosauroid sympatry in the European Late Jurassic". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 40 (1): e1768106. doi:10.1080/02724634.2020.1768106. ISSN 0272-4634.