Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 78 Ma
Dynamoterror frontals in rostral view.png
Frontal bones in front view
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Clade: Saurischia
Clade: Theropoda
Family: Tyrannosauridae
Subfamily: Tyrannosaurinae
Genus: Dynamoterror
McDonald et al., 2018
Type species
Dynamoterror dynastes
McDonald et al., 2018

Dynamoterror is a genus of tyrannosaurid theropod dinosaur that lived in what is now New Mexico during the Late Cretaceous Period, approximately 78 million years ago. The type species (and sole known species) is Dynamoterror dynastes. The generic name is derived from the Greek word dynamis (δύναμις) meaning "power" and the Latin word terror. The specific name is derived from δυνάστης, "ruler".[1]


Reconstructed frontal complex

It has been estimated that Dynamoterror would have been about 30 ft (9 m) long.[2] The holotype specimen, UMNH VP 28348, is an incomplete but associated skeleton consisting of cranial and postcranial elements including the left and right frontals, four vertebral centra, fragments of ribs, the right second metacarpal, the ilium, and two phalanx bones of the fourth toe of the left foot.[1]


Centrum of a middle tail vertebra

The holotype specimen, UMNH VP 28348, was recovered in the lower Campanian Allison Member of the Menefee Formation in the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico. The remains were first discovered in August 2012 during an expedition led by Andrew McDonald of the Western Science Center and Douglas Wolfe, the CEO of the Zuni Dinosaur Institute for Geosciences. During the expedition, volunteers Brian Watkins and Eric Gutierrez noticed fragmentary bones present within the sandstone.[2] The specimen is currently housed in the collection of the Natural History Museum of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Along with Lythronax, Dynamoterror is one of the oldest tyrannosaurids discovered so far.


McDonald et al. found Dynamoterror to belong to the Tyrannosaurinae. In their phylogenetic analysis, the genus formed a polytomy with other large bodied derived tyrannosaurines. This polytomy was likely caused by the genus' fragmentary nature.[1]

Below is a cladogram from McDonald et al., 2018.[1]


Albertosaurus sarcophagus

Gorgosaurus libratus


Qianzhousaurus sinensis

Alioramus remotus

Alioramus altai

Lythronax argestes

Dynamoterror dynastes

Nanuqsaurus hoglundi

Teratophoneus curriei

Daspletosaurus torosus

Daspletosaurus horneri

Zhuchengtyrannus magnus

Tarbosaurus bataar

Tyrannosaurus rex


Dynamoterror originates from the lower Campanian of the Allison Member of the Menefee Formation, New Mexico.[1] Other fauna known from the formation include the nodosaurid Invictarx, the alligatoroid Brachychampsa sealeyi, and an unnamed centrosaurine ceratopsid.[3][4][5]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e McDonald, A.T.; Wolfe, D.G.; Dooley Jr, A.C. (2018). "A new tyrannosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous Menefee Formation of New Mexico". PeerJ. 6: 6:e5749. doi:10.7717/peerj.5749. PMC 6183510. PMID 30324024.
  2. ^ a b Switek, Brian (9 October 2018). "Newly Discovered Tyrant Dinosaur Stalked Ancient New Mexico". Smithsonian. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  3. ^ McDonald, A.T.; Wolfe, D.G. (2018). "A new nodosaurid ankylosaur (Dinosauria: Thyreophora) from the Upper Cretaceous Menefee Formation of New Mexico". PeerJ. 6: 6:e5435. doi:10.7717/peerj.5435. PMC 6110256. PMID 30155354.
  4. ^ Williamson, TE (1996). "Brachychampsa sealeyi, sp. nov., (Crocodylia, Alligatoroidea) from the Upper Cretaceous (lower Campanian) Menefee Formation, northwestern New Mexico". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 16 (3): 421–431. doi:10.1080/02724634.1996.10011331.
  5. ^ Williamson TE. 1997. A new Late Cretaceous (early Campanian) vertebrate fauna from the Allison Member, Menefee Formation, San Juan Basin, New Mexico. In: Lucas SG, Estep JW, Williamson TE, Morgan GS, eds. New Mexico’s Fossil Record 1. Albuquerque: New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 11. 51-59.