Temporal range:
Middle JurassicPresent, 175.6–0 Ma Possible Early Jurassic record
Piatnitzkysaurus floresi2.jpg
Skeleton of Piatnitzkysaurus floresi
Keel-billed toucan woodland.jpg
Keel-billed toucan perched on a branch
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Clade: Saurischia
Clade: Theropoda
Clade: Tetanurae
Clade: Orionides
Carrano, Benson & Sampson, 2012

Orionides is a clade of tetanuran theropod dinosaurs from the Middle Jurassic to the Present. The clade includes most theropod dinosaurs, including birds.[1]


Although many phylogenetic analyses found basal tetanurans that were outside both Megalosauroidea and Avetheropoda, the core dichotomy was named only in 2012. Carrano, Benson and Sampson (2012) named that clade Orionides, and defined it as the node comprising Megalosauroidea, Avetheropoda, their most recent common ancestor, and all its descendants.[1] In 2015, Hendrickx, Hartman and Mateus clarified this definition, specifying it as the least inclusive clade including Allosaurus fragilis, Megalosaurus bucklandii, and Passer domesticus.[2] The cladogram presented below follows a phylogenetic analysis published by Zanno and Makovicky in 2013.[3]


Piatnitzkysauridae Piatnitzkysaurus floresi by Paleocolour.jpg


SpinosauridaeSpinosaurus aegyptiacus.png

MegalosauridaeTorvosaurus tanner DBi.jpg


CoelurosauriaMeyers grosses Konversations-Lexikon - ein Nachschlagewerk des allgemeinen Wissens (1908) (Antwerpener Breiftaube).jpg


MetriacanthosauridaeYangchuanosaurus NT (flipped).jpg


AllosauridaeAllosaurus Revised.jpg


NeovenatoridaeGualicho shinyae restoration.jpg

CarcharodontosauridaeConcavenator corcovatus by Daniel Vidal 2012.png


Large, predatory spinosaurids and allosaurids flourished during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous, especially in Gondwana, but seem to have died out before the end of the Cretaceous, possibly due to competition from abelisaurid ceratosaurs and tyrannosaurid coelurosaurs. The diverse coelurosaurs persisted until the end of the Mesozoic Era, when all except for crown clade avians died out. Modern birds are the only living representatives of the clade Tetanurae.


The clade name "Orionides" was first established by Matthew T. Carrano, Roger B. J. Benson and Scott D. Sampson in 2012. It is derived from Orion, the giant hunter of Greek mythology in references to the large size and carnivorism of basal orionidans. The name also refers to the alternative name for the constellation of Orion, Alektropodion, meaning "rooster foot".[1]


  1. ^ a b c Carrano, M. T.; Benson, R. B. J.; Sampson, S. D. (2012). "The phylogeny of Tetanurae (Dinosauria: Theropoda)". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 10 (2): 211–300. doi:10.1080/14772019.2011.630927.
  2. ^ Hendrickx, C.; Hartman, S.A.; Mateus, O. (2015). "An overview of non-avian theropod discoveries and classification". PalArch's Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology. 12 (1): 1–73.
  3. ^ Zanno, L. E.; Makovicky, P. J. (2013). "Neovenatorid theropods are apex predators in the Late Cretaceous of North America". Nature Communications. 4: 2827. Bibcode:2013NatCo...4.2827Z. doi:10.1038/ncomms3827. PMID 24264527.