Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Superorder Dinosauria
Order Saurischia
Suborder Theropoda
Family  ???
Genus Liliensternus
1st Species Liliensternus liliensterni
Other attributes
Time Range 228-201 mya
Location Germany
Name Meaning Lilienstern's animal
Physical Dimensions 5 meters long
Weight 127-200 kilograms (280-440 lbs)
Dietary Classification Carnivore

The two specimens that make up the syntype of Liliensternus, compared to an 1.8 meter tall human. Click to expand.

Liliensternus is a theropod dinosaur from the Late Triassic of Germany. It was officially named in 1984 by Samuel Paul Welles. It was one of the largest early theropods, and is considered to be another saurischian intermediate, this time between small Late Triassic theropods such as Coelophysis and large Early Jurassic theropods such as Dilophosaurus.


Liliensternus was a small theropod with a slender body, a long tail, long arms with three fingers on each hand, a moderately long neck, and a long, conical head with large jaws. Most of its body would have been covered in short, fuzz-like feathers.


Liliensternus was a predator, preying on mid-sized sauropodomorphs, small crocodylomorphs, pterosaurs, and smaller theropods. Its teeth had knife-like serrations from front to back, and were used to cut into the hides of large prey.


Due to its size, Liliensternus would have been one of the more dominant predators of the area; however, it wouldn't have been able to prey on large sauropodomorphs like Plateosaurus unless it hunted in a small gang. By itself, it would have eaten smaller animals, like small crocodylomorphs, smaller theropods, and even pterosaurs. Contrary to popular belief, it wasn't an exceptionally fast runner, as its lower leg was shorter than its upper leg. However, this was irrelevant, as it was able to catch up with most of its prey items.

In popular cultureEdit

Liliensternus appears in a live-acted version of the renowned documentary Walking with Dinosaurs, known as Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular: there, it was shown as preying on baby Plateosaurus babies a few seconds after they hatched. Fortunately for the baby sauropodomorphs, their mother comes in and wards the theropod off.

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