Skeleton cast of the holotype specimen of Skorpiovenator

  • Skorpiovenator bustingorryi

Skorpiovenator is a genus theropod dinosaur from the group of Abelisauridae. Previously, a single but well-preserved and largely complete skeleton is known, which dates from the early Late Cretaceous ( Cenomanian -average ) of Argentina.

Skorpiovenator it one of the most complete surviving Abelisauriden. This bipedal carnivore was scientifically described by paleontologists to Juan Canale 2009; single species is S. bustingorryi.

The name Skorpiovenator (Latin skorpios - " Scorpio ", venator - " Hunter") means something like " scorpion hunter ". The researchers chose this name because they were able to observe numerous scorpions during the excavation work. The second part of the species name, bustingorryi honors Manuel Bustingorry, the owner of the farm on which the skeleton was found.


The skeleton is found in the composite and anatomical measures a length of 4.35 m, wherein the complete skeleton is reconstructed to a length of about 7.5 m. The skull was short, similar to Carnotaurus.

As is typical for Abelisauriden he pointed to numerous ornaments like small ridges, furrows and tubercles. This genus can be distinguished by a number of skull characteristics of other Abelisauriden. So, for example, had the upper jaw 19 teeth, more than in other species.


Canale and colleagues ( 2008) put it on a new group Short-beaked Abelisauriden that Brachyrostra in which they classify Skorpiovenator together with the genera Carnotaurus, Aucasaurus, Ilokelesia and Ekrixinatosaurus. A cladistic analysis of these researchers came to the conclusion that Skorpiovenator was most closely related to Ekrixinatosaurus.









Fund and Paleobiology

The only skeleton ( holotype, specimen number MMCH PV - 48) is almost complete, with the bulk of the arms and the rear portion of the tail. The skull including mandible is almost completely preserved. The site is located 3 km northwest of Villa El Chocón in the Argentine province of Neuquen.

The skeleton was recovered from fluvial sandstones with intermediate pelites belonging to the lower regions of Huincul Formation, a rock unit of the Neuquén Group. Other Großtheropoden this formation were the Carcharodontosauride Mapusaurus and Abelisauride Ilokelesia.