Eotyrannus (Dawn Tyrant)
Steve Hutt et al. – 2001
Estimated 4.5 meters long
E. lengi (type)
United Kingdom, Isle of Wight – Wessex Formation
Early Cretaceous, 130 million years ago
Eotyrannus, meaning “Dawn Tyrant,” is a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived during the Early Cretaceous period, approximately 130 million years ago, in what is now England.
Eotyrannus was a relatively small, bipedal dinosaur, measuring about 4.5 meters in length and weighing around 150 kilograms. Despite its name, Eotyrannus was not a true tyrannosaur, but rather a more primitive member of the coelurosaurian theropod group. It had long, slender arms and three-fingered hands with sharp claws, suggesting that it was a carnivorous predator.
One of the most distinctive features of Eotyrannus is the presence of a row of tall, bony ridges running down its back, which may have served to provide protection against predators or to regulate body temperature.
The discovery of Eotyrannus is significant because it provides important insights into the early evolution of tyrannosaurs and other theropods. Its discovery in England is also notable, as it suggests that theropods were present in this part of the world at a time when the continents were still connected as part of the supercontinent Pangaea.
Despite its relatively small size and primitive features, Eotyrannus was an important and formidable predator in its environment, and its discovery has helped to expand our understanding of the diverse range of dinosaurs that lived during the Early Cretaceous period.