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Everything You Need To Know About Abelisauridae

Everything You Need To Know About Abelisauridae

"Abel's Lizards" named Abelisauridae as Roberto Abel discovered the first genus of the family, full name Abelisaurus comahuensis. They are an important Cretaceous group recognized mainly from Gondwana. Also, comes among the most recent dinosaur group to be discovered, being excavated in the 1980s; it was from the rocks of the Latest Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) age in Argentina. Once Abelisauridae was discovered, after the following decades, Abelisauridae fossil researchers successfully turned the highlight on the other family representatives. They were discovered and reinterpreted in South America and Madagascar, India, north Africa, and France.

The group of Abelisauridae consists of a wide range of weird-looking and large-sized theropods; they were characterized by a tendency to crests and horns above the eyes and deep skulls. Further, thickening of the skull roof, lightly built lower jaws together with apparently useless arms and hands, small in size, so they become smaller than the tiny forelimbs of a Tyrannosaurus. The Abelisauridae combines Tyrannosaurus, ceratosaur, and Carcharodontosaurus characters; their previous evolutionary relationship remains hard to determine. However, cladistic analysis unanimously agreed that they are late surviving ceratosaurs. Moreover, Abelisaurids are found as the only large predators in the southern continents. This write-up introduces you to everything related to Abelisauridae, so if you wish to explore more, keep reading!


Quick Facts About Abelisaurid

  • Their height was between 5 and 9 m (17 to 30 ft) in length.
  • Most advanced abelisaurids had vestigial front limbs that bore no wrist dinosaur bones.
  • Abelisaurids were found in India, Africa, South America, and Madagascar.


Abelisaur Serrated tooth


About The Abelisaurid Skull

Abelisaurids were researched to be carnivorous bipeds like most theropods. They were characterized by extensive ornamentation of the skull bones, grooves pits, and stocky hind limbs. In most of the abelisaurids, like Carnotaurus, forelimbs were vertical, with the shorter skull and bony crests growing above the eyes. According to the Abelisauridae fossil researchers, most of the time, abelisaurids have been between 5 to 9 m (17 to 30 ft) in length, from snout to tip of tail, like a new yet unnamed specimen that came from northwestern Turkana in Kenya. Earlier abelisaurids were occasionally misidentified as possible South American tyrannosaurids, but that was before the discovery.

The skull proportion of Abelisaurids varied, and all the skulls were reportedly tall, or often they were shorter. Premaxilla in abelisaurids was usually tall, according to the researchers, and also, the front of the snout was not tapered as seen in many other theropods; it was blunt. In the eye socket from the front and back, two skull bones, the lacrimal and postorbital bones, nearly divide it into two compartments. Further, it was tilted slightly outwards in Carnotaurus, providing some binocular vision. Lacrimal and postorbital also met above the eye socket or bowed above the eye.

As per the researchers, most skull dinosaur bones are in the form of long grooves, protrusions, and pits, just like the ceratosaurs. The frontal bones were fused together. Also, Carnotaurines had bony projections from the skull; they had two pronounced horns that were projecting outward right above the eyes. While on the other side, Rajasaurus and Majungasaurus had a single bony horn projecting upwards from the skull. All these projections might have been displayed for species recognition or intimidation.


When Did They Exist?  

Abelisaurids shared more recent common ancestry with well-known Jurassic predator Ceratosaurus than birds, as they were of ceratosaurian origin. Also, they were characterized by the extensive ornamentation of their bones, which could bore horns, pits, and grooves. They existed back in the middle Jurassic period, around 163 million years ago, together with the rest of the dinosaurs, which were non-avian dinosaurs at the time of the Cretaceous-Paleogene Mass Extinction.

 Abelisaur Serrated tooth


Where Did They Exist?

Abelisaurids were commonly discovered in India, Africa, South America, and Madagascar. Arcovenator escotae from France is the only definite member of the family that was discovered in Europe. Further, Isolated teeth from Late Jurassic Portugal are believed to also belong to an abelisaurid. Till now, this was all the information researchers have about the existing locations, and the research is still going on.


Size Of The Abelisaurid 

Abelisaurids were mostly medium-sized predators; their height was between 5 and 9 meters (17 to 30 ft) in length. Further, an abelisaurid specimen from Kenya was discovered to be a member who reached the possible length of 11–12 m (36 to 39 ft). However, this species has yet to be named. Do you want to know who officially holds the title of the family's largest member? Its Pycnonemosaurus nevesi from Brazil and its height was between 8.9 -- 9.3 meters (29.2 -30.5 feet) long and weighed an estimated 3.6 tonnes.


Abelisaur Serrated tooth


Classification Of Abelisaurid 

The name Abelisauridae was given by Jose Bonaparte and Fernando Novas in 1985 when the eponymous Abelisaurus was described. This name comes from the Abel family. Abelisauridae is one of the families in rank-based Linnaean taxonomy. Further, it contains the family Noasauridae and has several definitions in phylogenetic taxonomy. Originally, it was defined as a node-based taxon including Abelisaurus, Carnotaurus, their common ancestor, and all of its descendants. 

After a few decades, Abelisauridae was redefined as a stem-based taxon with all the animals that are more closely related to Abelisaurus than to Noasaurus. And the node-based definition does not include animals like Rugops or Ilokelesia, which are thought to be more basal than Abelisaurus and are included in the stem-based definition.



The skeletons of the Abelisauridae have been described as advanced with the establishment of the defining skeleton features of the family. Moreover, shared characteristics mostly come from the sudden features of the skull bones. Also, many features are shared with carcharodontosaurids. Further, these features, together with the fact that abelisaurids have replaced carcharodontosaurids in South America, led to suggestions that the two groups have some evolutionary relationship. However, no cladistic analysis has ever found any established relation apart from the skull. Abelisaurids and carcharodontosaurids are different, similar to allosaurus and ceratosaurus, respectively.


Abelisaur Serrated tooth


Start Your Collection Of Unique Fossils Today!  

According to the researchers, Abelisauridae used to have vestigial front limbs that bore no wrist bones. Their second and third finger bones were extremely short and immobile, but the arms of T.rex would look large by comparison. That was all about the Abelisauridae. Likewise, they are surrounded by numerous tales about other dinosaurs from their family. Exploring the world of fossils can help you discover a lot about the dinosaur species that existed millions of years ago. So, if you want to buy authentic and real Abelisauridae Fossil and numerous others, Fossil Age Minerals is here with the best collection at affordable prices. Connect with us today or visit our website to explore more about our fossils.

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