Don’t let its size fool you; this small, bipedal dinosaur was one of the most ferocious predators you could come across. Its serrated teeth, agility, and scaly hide made the Juravenator a formidable opponent.

Key Facts

Juravenator pronunciationJu-Rah-Ve-Nay-Tor
What does Juravenator mean?Jura (Bavarian mountains) hunter
Dinosaur typeTheropod
On the menuCarnivorous
Length0.8 meters (3 feet)
Height0.25 meters  (1 foot)
Weight1 kilogram (about 2.200 lbs)
Life expectancy26-32 years
Legs used to get aroundBipedal
Estimated top speedUnknown
When they livedLate Jurassic era 154 to 151 million years ago
Where they have been found?Germany

When & Where

In 1988, a museum based in the town of Eichstätt, Bavaria led a paleontological expedition to a local chalk quarry. Two brothers, Klaus-Dieter Weiß and Hans-Joachim Weiß came across a plate with clearly visible vertebrate remains. Although the head of a small theropod was initially unveiled, further preparation was suspended because the fragility of the remains made it slow and expensive to proceed. Half a decade later, the new director of the museum, Martina Kölbl-Ebert, decided to complete the preparation and an entire juvenile skeleton was unveiled. To this day, it continues to be the only example found and is considered the most complete specimen of a non-avian theropod ever discovered in Europe.

Size & Weight

The Juravenator was between 70 and 80 centimeters in length. The small bipedal dinosaur weighed about a kilogram. Originally classified as a Compsognathidae, the Juravenator’s familial identity has since come into question due to the scaly hide it possesses.

Mobility & Diet

Like most other theropods, the Juravenator was carnivorous, though its diet was likely less extensive than its counterparts. They had serrated teeth and short humerus’. The Juravenator’s top speed is unknown, but they’re considered extremely agile.

Interesting Points

  • The name of the type species, Juravenator starki, honors the Stark family who owned the quarry the fossil was found in.
  • A 2020 study found small, round structures on the tail. They were identified as “integumentary sense organs”, making them possibly the first sensory organs found on the skin of a dinosaur.
  • The taxonomic classification of the Juravenator is still not entirely clear.
  • The Juravenator lived more than 150 million years ago in what is now the southern mountains of Germany.
  • They were carnivorous, specializing in invertebrates or small vertebrates.
  • Their scleral rings suggest they might’ve been nocturnal, however, this is disputed.