Eustreptospondylus was a meat-loving dinosaur that came from the genus of Megalosauroidea. It was first described in 1841 and another fossil material was recovered in 1964. 

Key Facts

Eustreptospondylus pronunciationYOU-strep-toe-SPON-dih-luss
What does Eustreptospondylus mean?The name Eustreptospondylus means “well-curved vertebra” based on the arrangement of its spine with the first fossil discovered.
Dinosaur typeTheropod
On the menuHerbivore
Length4.6 m
Height3.7 m
Weight218 kg
Life expectancyIt is assumed that they lived for nine million years on Earth.
Legs used to get aroundBipedal
Estimated top speedThe estimated top speed of these dinosaurs is not yet known.
When they livedThey roamed the Earth between 154 million to 163 million years ago during the Callovian era to the Oxfordian era of the Late Jurassic period. 
Where they have been found?During their time, Europe was into scattered islands and these theropods used to live on one of its islands. Eustreptospondylus was said to be terrestrial; however, since their fossils were collected alongside water bodies, some paleontologists assume that they somewhat inhabited a few kinds of it.

When & Where

The first ever Eustreptospondylus was described in 1841 unfortunately the collected specimen has been lost ever since. A few years later, in 1964 another set of fossil remains was recovered in Europe. The new specimen shows that it lacks development of the upper parts, revealing that the fossil may belong to a juvenile dinosaur when it died. 

Size & Weight

The Eustreptospondylus specimen measures about 4.6 m in length and 3.7 m tall, which is said to be twice the size of a Neovenator while it had an estimated weight of 218 kg. 

Mobility & Diet

Eustreptospondylus was a carnivore who was fed by a wide variety of animals in their era such as small marine reptiles, pterosaurs and other dinosaurs. Since they were meat eaters in nature, they were considered to be the aggressive type. 

Interesting Points

  • There’s only one specimen collected by paleontologists
  • The original specimen described in 1841 has been lost
  • Eustreptospondylus became extinct during the Oxfordian stage about 154 million years ago
  • This theropod was believed to be closely related to Allosaurus and Megalosaurus
  • Eustreptospondylus was once believed to be a species of Megalosaurus or the first official dinosaur to be named. Paleontologists took a full century for them to recognize that it has its own unique curved vertebrae, making this dinosaur receive its own distinct genus. Since the only skeleton of Eustreptospondylus was retrieved from marine sediments, it was assumed that this theropod was used to hunt prey along the shores of a small island on the coast of Southern England.