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More Dinosaur Fact Sheets
Metriacanthosaurus Fact Sheet
Dinosaur/Paleontology Dictionary
NAME: Meaning - Metriacanthosaurus means "medium spine lizard"
Pronounced - met-re-ah-CAN-tho-SAWR-us
Named By - Walker
When Named - 1964
DIET: Carnivore (meat-eater)
SIZE: Length - about 23-26 ft (7-8 m) long
Height - 6 ft (1.8 m) tall at the hips
Weight - roughly 1 ton
WHEN IT LIVED: Jurassic period, about 160-154 million years ago
WHERE IT LIVED: Fossils have been found in England, Europe.
FOSSILS: A partial skeleton was found with no skull.
  • Kingdom Animalia (animals)
  • Phylum Chordata (having a hollow nerve chord ending in a brain)
  • Class Archosauria (diapsids with socket-set teeth, etc.)
  • Order Saurischia - lizard-hipped dinosaurs
  • Suborder Theropoda - bipedal carnivores
  • Tetanura - advanced theropods with three fingers
  • Genus Metriacanthosaurus
  • Species M. parkeri (type species named by von Huene, 1926) [originally thought to be a species of Megalosaurus]
Metriacanthosaurus had spines on its backbone (spines that were twice as long as a vertebra), hence its name. This dinosaur may have been an ancestor of the spinosaurids (huge Cretaceous period predators with crocodile-like jaws and with neural spines forming a sail).

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