The presence of the Torvosaurus dinosaur in Portugal was already documented as part of the varied fauna of Lourinhã. The fossils studied by Christophe Hendrickx and Octavio Mateus were initially assigned to the species Torvosaurus tanneri but in the course of their study, the researchers found significant anatomical differences with this species. The article published in the journal PLOS One describes the anatomical features in great detail, and led the team to identify a new species – Torvosaurus gurneyi.
With less than 11 teeth in the maxilla and a different interdental wall to the species T. tanneri, the recently named Torvosaurus gurneyi is the largest predator found in Europe to date and also the largest theropod discovered in Lourinhã, Portugal. This dinosaur species was alive during the Late Jurassic period, about 150 million years ago.
This study was funded by an FCT grant, “Dinoeggs – Dinosaur Eggs And Embryos in Portugal: Paleobiological Implications and Paleoenvironmental Settings”, for which Octavio Mateus is the Principal Investigator, and an FCT PhD scholarship for Christoph Hendrickx.