Small theropod post-cranial material from Tendaguru, Tanzania, the only known Late Jurassic theropod locality in the Southern Hemisphere, is reviewed. Material originally described as ‘coelurosaurs’ includes at least one taxon of basal tetanuran and one taxon of small abelisauroid. Together with the abelisauroid Elaphrosaurus and the presence of a larger ceratosaur in Tendaguru, this material indicates that ceratosaurs were an important faunal element of Late Jurassic East African theropod faunas. One bone furthermore shares derived characters with the holotype of the poorly known Middle Jurassic Australian theropod Ozraptor and allows the identification of the latter as the oldest known abelisauroid, thus indicating an early divergence of ceratosaurids and abelisauroids within ceratosaurs. Abelisauroids might have originated in Gondwana and represent important faunal elements of Cretaceous Gondwanan theropod faunas in general.