LILIENSTERNUS

(LIL-EE-EN-STUR-NUS)

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Liliensternus was an active hunter, agile and fast, running on two powerful hind-legs, balanced by a long, graceful tail. It was a lightly built carnivore and was the largest meat eater of its time.

Skull details suggest that Liliensternus is related to the Jurassic carnivore Dilophosaurus.The jaws were lined with sharp, blade-like teeth. The skull shows evidence of distinctive fin like crests along the snout. These may have been for species recognition or as a display to attract a mate.

Like many early theropods, Liliensternus has a five fingered hand, with a smaller fourth and fifth digit. Later theropods have three fingered hands. Liliensternus is known from two incomplete specimens found in the Kueper Formation, Saschen-Anhalt in Germany. Named for German paleontologist Hugo Ruele von Lilienstern.

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Fun Facts

  • Size 5m (16.5 feet)
  • Lived in the Triassic Period
  • Was the largest meat eater of its time
  • Agile and fast with two powerful hind-legs, balanced by a long, graceful tail
  • Its jaws were lined with sharp, blade-like teeth
  • Distinctive fin like crests along the snout
  • We now believe Liliensternus had a spiky crest of feathers and more feathers down his arms, giving him a sort of 'punk rock' look