Ichthyovenator facts for kids
Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, Aptian
|Casts of the type vertebrae in side view|
Allain et al., 2012
Allain et al., 2012
Ichthyovenator was a meat-eating theropod dinosaur. It was from the Early Cretaceous, about 113 to 125 million years ago. Its fossils were found in Laos in 2010. Ichthyovenator was a spinosaurid, they were crocodile-like dinosaurs that ate fish.
Discovery and naming
The only known species is Ichthyovenator laosensis. It was named and described by Ronan Allain and his colleagues in 2012. It was found in the Grès supérieurs Formation.
The name Ichthyovenator comes from the Greek word for "fish" and the Latin word for "hunter", The name refers to the fact that it ate fish. The species name is laosensis, because it lived in what is now Laos.
While Ichthyovenator was being described, paleontologists were still digging up more of its bones.
Ronan Allain was one of Ichthyovenator's original describers. In 2014, he mentioned that more of Icthyovenator's skeleton was dug up in 2012. He wrote this in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. These new bones include: several teeth, a hip bone, most neck bones, and a few back and tail bones. The description of the new bones has not been officially published.
In 2015, some of Ichthyovenator's bones were compared to the ones of Sigilmassasaurus. Sigilmassasaurus is another spinosaurid.
Paleontologists estimate Ichthyovenator was about 8.5 metres (28 feet) long. That's about as big as Baryonyx, one of its close relatives.
It had a half-meter sail or hump on its back, similar to Suchomimus, or Spinosaurus. Ichthyovenator's sail was unusual because it was split in two at the hips. Scientists don't know why it was like that.
In 2014 it was found that Ichthyovenator was part of the subfamily spinosaurinae instead. This was because of specific features on its teeth, and because its backbones look much like the ones of Sigilmassasaurus.
Some sources say Ichthyovenator might not have been a spinosaurid. They say it may have been a sail-backed carcharodontosaurid, and that it was related to Concavenator. But this hypothesis has not been published in an academic place.
The diagram below is called a cladogram. It shows how Ichthyovenator is related to other dinosaurs in its family tree. This cladogram is by Allain et al. (2012):
Images for kids
Casts of the vertebrae at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris
Reconstructed skeleton of the spinosaurine Irritator, mounted at the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo
Ichthyovenator might have used its tail, which had elongated neural spines, for propulsion through water, similar to crocodilians such as this Nile crocodile
Ichthyovenator Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.