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Eustreptospondylus oxoniensis
Topic Started: Aug 26 2012, 11:15 PM (3,741 Views)
Carcharadon
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Eustreptospondylus oxoniensis

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Temporal range: Middle Jurassic, 165-161 Ma

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
clade: Dinosauria
clade: Theropod
Family: †Megalosauridae
Genus: †Eustreptospondylus Walker, 1964

Eustreptospondylus ("well-curved vertebra"), in reference to the arrangement of the spine in the original fossil) is a genus of megalosaurid dinosaur, from the Callovian stage of the Middle Jurassic period (165 to 161 million years ago) in southern England, at a time when Europe was a series of scattered islands (due to tectonic movement at the time which raised the sea-bed and flooded the lowland). The only known specimen of Eustreptospondylus may not be fully grown, and was about 4.63 metres (15.2 ft) long. It was carnivorous, bipedal and had a stiffened tail. It was a typical theropod, with powerful hind limbs, erect posture and small forelimbs.

History
Eustreptospondylus was described originally by Sir Richard Owen, in 1841, as a new specimen of the species Megalosaurus cuvieri (later Streptospondylus cuvieri). The specimen, found in a brickpit in the Oxford Clay, north of Oxford, England, has since been lost but its description, when compared to 're-discovered' material, makes it likely that it was not the same as M. cuvieri, and it was assigned to its own genus and species Eustreptospondylus oxoniensis, in 1964. In 2000, Rauhut found that only minor differences in the hip bones make Eustreptospondylus different from a previously known megalosaur called Magnosaurus and, in 2003, he proposed that they should be the same genus (which would make the full species name Magnosaurus oxoniensis).

In popular culture
Eustreptospondylus was featured in episode 3 of BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs, "Cruel Sea". One is eaten by a Liopleurodon while fishing. At the end of the episode, two adult Eustreptospondylus eat a beached and dying Liopleurodon. The episode also portrayed Eustreptospondylus as being able to swim short distances in shallow water. It was also featured in the Primeval novel Fire and Water, where it is portrayed as the top predator of the Middle Jurassic, and was also shown to have swum to small islands.
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Edited by Taipan, Aug 27 2012, 08:56 PM.
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