List of African dinosaurs

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This is a list of dinosaurs whose remains have been recovered from Africa.

Africa has a rich fossil record, but it is patchy and incomplete. Prosauropods dating from the Early Triassic period, about 230 million years ago, have been discovered in Madagascar. Africa is rich in Triassic and Lower Jurassic dinosaurs. African dinosaurs from these time periods include Syntarsus, Dracovenator, Melanorosaurus, Massospondylus, Euskelosaurus, Heterodontosaurus, Abrictosaurus, and Lesothosaurus. The Middle Jurassic is poorly represented in Africa. Only the three sauropods Cetiosaurus, Lapparentosaurus, and Archaeodontosaurus have been discovered dating from this time period. The Upper Jurassic, however, is well represented in Africa, mainly thanks to the spectacular Tendaguru Formation. Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Elaphrosaurus, Giraffatitan, Dicraeosaurus, Janenschia, Tornieria, Tendaguria, Kentrosaurus, and Dryosaurus are among the dinosaurs whose remains have been recovered from Tendaguru. This fauna seems to show strong similarities to that of the Morrison Formation in the United States and the Lourinha Formation in Portugal. For example, Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, and Dryosaurus have been found in both the Tendaguru and the Morrison. This has important biogeographical implications.

The Lower Cretaceous in Africa is known primarily from the northern part of the continent, particularly Niger. Suchomimus, Elrhazosaurus, Spinostropheus, Rebbachisaurus, Nigersaurus, Kryptops, Nqwebasaurus, and Paranthodon are some of the early Cretaceous dinosaurs known from Africa. The early Cretaceous was an important time for the dinosaurs of Africa because it was when Africa finally separated from South America, forming the South Atlantic Ocean. This was an important event because now the dinosaurs of Africa started developing endemism because of isolation. The Upper Cretaceous of Africa is known mainly from North Africa. During the early part of the Upper Cretaceous, North Africa was home to a rich dinosaur fauna. It includes Spinosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, Rugops, Bahariasaurus, Deltadromeus, Paralititan, Aegyptosaurus, and Ouranosaurus. During the latest Cretaceous, at the end of the Age of Dinosaurs, Majungasaurus, Masiakasaurus, Rapetosaurus, and the flying dromaeosaurid Rahonavis lived in Africa.

Name Period Diet[1] Notes
Aardonyx Jurassic herbivore
Abrictosaurus Jurassic herbivore or omnivore
Aegyptosaurus Cretaceous herbivore
Aetonyx Jurassic herbivore probably synonymous with Massospondylus
Afrovenator Jurassic carnivore
Algoasaurus Jurassic/Cretaceous herbivore
Allosaurus Jurassic carnivore
Antetonitrus Triassic herbivore
Archaeodontosaurus Jurassic herbivore _
Atlasaurus Jurassic herbivore
Australodocus Jurassic herbivore
Bahariasaurus Cretaceous carnivore
Barosaurus Jurassic herbivore
Berberosaurus Jurassic carnivore
Blikanasaurus Triassic herbivore
Carcharodontosaurus Cretaceous carnivore
Ceratosaurus Jurassic carnivore
Cetiosaurus Jurassic herbivore
Chebsaurus Jurassic herbivore
Cristatusaurus Cretaceous carnivore
Deltadromeus Cretaceous carnivore
Dicraeosaurus Jurassic herbivore
Dracovenator Jurassic carnivore
Dryosaurus Jurassic herbivore
Elaphrosaurus Jurassic carnivore
Elrhazosaurus Cretaceous herbivore
Eocarcharia Jurassic carnivore
Eocursor Triassic omnivore
Eucnemesaurus Triassic (disputed)
Euskelosaurus Triassic herbivore
Fabrosaurus Jurassic herbivore
Geranosaurus Jurassic (unknown)
Giraffatitan Jurassic herbivore
Gyposaurus Jurassic herbivore
Heterodontosaurus Jurassic herbivore
Ignavusaurus Jurassic herbivore
Inosaurus Cretaceous (unknown)
Janenschia Jurassic herbivore
Jobaria Cretaceous herbivore
Kangnasaurus Cretaceous (unknown)
Karongasaurus Cretaceous herbivore
Kemkemia Cretaceous carnivore
Kentrosaurus Jurassic herbivore
Kryptops Cretaceous carnivore
Lanasaurus Jurassic herbivore
Lapparentosaurus Jurassic herbivore _
Lesothosaurus Jurassic herbivore
Likhoelesaurus Triassic (unknown) Possibly not a dinosaur (disputed)
Lurdusaurus Cretaceous herbivore
Lycorhinus Jurassic herbivore
Majungasaurus Cretaceous carnivore _
Malawisaurus Cretaceous herbivore
Masiakasaurus Cretaceous carnivore _
Massospondylus Jurassic herbivore
Megapnosaurus Jurassic carnivore
Melanorosaurus Triassic herbivore
Nigersaurus Cretaceous herbivore
Nqwebasaurus Cretaceous carnivore
Ouranosaurus Cretaceous herbivore
Paralititan Cretaceous herbivore
Paranthodon Cretaceous herbivore
Plateosauravus Triassic herbivore
Rahonavis Cretaceous carnivore _
Rapetosaurus Cretaceous herbivore _
Rebbachisaurus Cretaceous herbivore
Rugops Cretaceous carnivore
Sigilmassasaurus Cretaceous carnivore
Spinosaurus Cretaceous carnivore
Spinophorosaurus Jurassic herbivore
Spinostropheus Cretaceous carnivore
Stormbergia Jurassic (unknown)
Suchomimus Cretaceous carnivore
Tazoudasaurus Jurassic herbivore
Tendaguria Jurassic herbivore
Thotobolosaurus Triassic herbivore
Tornieria Jurassic herbivore
Vulcanodon Jurassic herbivore

Key[change | change source]

Nomen dubium
Nomen nudum

Timeline[change | change source]

This is a timeline of selected dinosaurs from the list above. Time is measured in mya along the x-axis.

Criteria for inclusion[change | change source]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Diet is sometimes hard to determine for dinosaurs and should be considered a "best guess"