One of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs from the Late Triassic. In appearance it was similar to Coelophysis, following the typical lithe frames of the Triassic theropods. It lived in the forests that grew alongside rivers that flowed through otherwise barren landscapes. It may have hunted the large prosauropods that lived in the region.

Liliensternus liliensterni by ~cheungchungtat

The fog was slow to burn away, even in the sunlight, so Lilensternus walked warily through the mist. It hung heavy in the air, like a damp vegetation. He could hear the prosauropods somewhere in the distance, grunting and humming. Their voices rolled through the fog in teases. Two pterosaurs skirted overhead, whistling, but Liliensternus ignored them and strained to listen to the the plateosaurs singing somewhere behind the fog. 

Liliensternus liliensterni


NameLiliensternus liliensterni 

Name Meaning: Named for Hugo Rühle von Lilienstern, the father of German paleontology. 

First Described: 1934

Described By: Huene 

ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Coelophysoidea

Liliensternus was a very large Coelophysoid theropod, about five meters long. It was the largest theropod known from the period in Europe, where it was found. Specifically, it was discovered in Trossingen Formation in Germany. It lived around  210 million years ago, in Carninan to Norian stages of the Late Triassic period. Due to its size, it probably preyed on many of the larger prosauropods of the age, such as Plateosaurus. However, it was still smaller than Plateosaurus, and probably hunted in packs. The fourth and fifth fingers on its hands are greatly reduced, showing the general trend of predatory dinosaurs towards three-fingered hands. It had a very long neck and tail, and a small crest, like Megapnosaurus, and much like a smaller version of Dilophosaurus’. Its crest would probably have been used in signaling and communication with other dinosaurs. It was very lightly built, and was probably a good sprinter. 


Weishampel, D. B. (2007). The Dinosauria (2nd ed.). Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.

Dixon, D. (2007). The Complete Book of Dinosaurs. London, England: Anness Publishing.

Shout out goes to captashley!