unranked taxon of dinosaurs

Tetanurae (/ˌtɛtəˈnjuːriː/ or "stiff tails") are a clade which includes most theropod dinosaurs, including birds. Tetanurans first appear in the Jurassic. It is a large group of theropod dinosaurs. Jacques Gauthier used the term when he first applied cladistics to vertebrate paleontology.[5]

Temporal range:
Early JurassicPresent, 201–0 Ma
Monolophosaurus jiangi.jpg
Skeleton of Monolophosaurus jiangi
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Clade: Saurischia
Clade: Theropoda
Clade: Neotheropoda
Clade: Averostra
Clade: Tetanurae
Gauthier, 1986
  • Avipoda Novas, 1992

The term refers to the stiff tail which was held above the ground as a counterweight when the animal walked or ran.

Tetanurae are defined as all theropods more closely related to modern birds than to Ceratosaurus. Gauthier considered it to consist of Carnosauria and Coelurosauria. Modern birds are the only living representatives of the clade Tetanurae.[6]


  1. Novas, F. E.; Salgado, L.; Suárez, M.; Agnolín, F. L.; Ezcurra, M. N. D.; Chimento, N. S. R.; de la Cruz, R.; Isasi, M. P.; Vargas, A. O.; Rubilar-Rogers, D. (2015). "An enigmatic plant-eating theropod from the Late Jurassic period of Chile". Nature. 522 (7556): 331–4. Bibcode:2015Natur.522..331N. doi:10.1038/nature14307. PMID 25915021.
  2. Benson, R. B. J.; Radley, J. D. (2010). "A New Large-Bodied Theropod Dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Warwickshire, United Kingdom". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 55: 35–42. CiteSeerX doi:10.4202/app.2009.0083.
  3. Hendrickx, C.; Mateus, O.V. (2014). Evans, Alistair Robert (ed.). "Torvosaurus gurneyi n. sp., the Largest Terrestrial Predator from Europe, and a Proposed Terminology of the Maxilla Anatomy in Nonavian Theropods". PLoS ONE. 9 (3): e88905. Bibcode:2014PLoSO...988905H. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088905. PMC 3943790. PMID 24598585.
  4. 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.
  5. Gauthier J.A. 1986. Saurischian monophyly and the origin of birds. In Padian K. The origin of birds and the evolution of flight. Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences 8. California Academy of Sciences, 1–55. ISBN 0-940228-14-9
  6. Carrano M.T; Benson R.B.J. & Sampson S.D. 2011. The phylogeny of Tetanurae (Dinosauria: Theropoda). J. Systematic Palaeontology 10 (2) 211–300. [1]