Eotyrannus – The English Tyrannosaur
At Everything Dinosaur we get lots of letters, drawings, emails and other correspondence from young dinosaur fans. On Friday, we received an email asking the question just how big was Eotyrannus? We replied to this email yesterday, here is our answer.
How Big was Eotyrannus?
Eotyrannus is known from only one fossilised skeleton which was found by amateur fossil collector Gavin Leng in 1996. The fossil material, represents less than half of the entire animal skeleton, so it is difficult to estimate the size of this meat-eating dinosaur when studying such few bones. The fossil material consists of parts of the skull, jaws, teeth, parts of the backbone and elements of the limbs including bones from the hands and feet. This dinosaur has been assigned to the tyrannosaur family (Tyrannosauroidea) and represents one of the earliest tyrannosaurs known to science. It was formally named and described by a team of British palaeontologists in 2001.
A Scale Drawing of Eotyrannus (Drawing based on the CollectA Dinosaurs Model)
Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur
Early Cretaceous Fossils
The fossils date from the Early Cretaceous, they were found in a plant debris bed of the Wessex Formation on the south-west coast of the Isle of Wight (off southern England). Comparisons between the Eotyrannus material and other meat-eating dinosaurs (coelurosaurs) suggest that the individual that the fossil material represents was about 4 metres long. However, some of the bones indicate that they belong to a sub-adult animal. Based on the assumption that this animal was not fully grown, palaeontologists have estimated that this animal may have reached a length of approximately 6 metres.
Unlike the more famous, Tyrannosaurus rex the forelimbs and fingers of Eotyrannus were long and most probably were used to grasp prey. A model of this meat-eating dinosaur is available from Everything Dinosaur, it can be found in the CollectA model series, to view this model and other members of the tyrannosaur family, see the link below to find the CollectA Prehistoric Life models section on our website.
Dinosaur Models including the CollectA Eotyrannus dinosaur model: CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Prehistoric Life Models.