|1st Species||Neovenator salerii|
|Time Range||130-125 mya|
|Name Meaning||New hunter|
|Physical Dimensions||7.2 meters long|
Neovenator is a carcharodontosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of the United Kingdom. It was named in 1996 by Steve Hutt, David M. Martill, and Michael J. Barker. It was one of the first carcharodontosaurids to live, only being predated by a Jurassic theropod closely related to it.
Neovenator was a theropod with a semi-bulky body, moderately long legs, moderately long arms, a long tail, a moderately long neck, a large head with a mouth containing lots of big teeth, and a pair of stubby crests atop its head. Its body would have been covered in scaly skin.
Neovenator was a predator, preying on nodosaurs, large ornithopods, mid-sized sauropods, and smaller theropods. Its teeth had knife-like serrations from back to back, and were used to slice off pieces of flesh from the bodies of large prey.
Neovenator was one of the biggest carnivores of the Cretaceous freshwater ecosystems it lived in, only being beaten in size by fellow theropod Baryonyx; however, considering it was better adapted towards taking down larger prey than Baryonyx was, it was the true apex predator of its environment. Much like other carcharodontosaurids, it had a hunting strategy that consisted of dashing towards a large herbivore, biting a large chunk of flesh off of its body, and letting it run away so it could lose enough blood to become weak and allow the theropod to finish it off with a devastating killing blow. However, the most interesting thing about Neovenator is that it had a sensitive snout, which was most likely used for checking nest temperature, manipulating carcasses (by detecting what was meat and what was bone), and even courtship and mating; in regard to the latter, it can be speculated that theropods rubbed snouts during courtship, similar to how modern birds today hold beaks when courting. It is unknown whether other carcharodontosaurids had such a sensitive snout, as the only other theropods known to have this feature are the spinosaurs Spinosaurus and Baryonyx, as well as the tyrannosaur Daspletosaurus; however, sensitive snouts for other dinosaurs like Neovenator are not out of the question.