The Metriacanthosaurus was a genus of dinosaur that inhabited our planet during the well-known Jurassic period (about 150 million years ago). It has been classified within the group known as theropod synraptorid saurischian dinosaurs.

A series of vertebrae have been found that have the shape of thorns and a sail. The most distinctive feature of the Metriacanthosaurus is that it would have had a hump.

If you are interested in knowing more about it, please note that below we will show you a much more complete information about the Metriacanthosaurus. Stay with us and learn all about this carnivorous dinosaur from the Jurassic period!


Taxonomy of the Metriacanthosaurus

  • The animal belongs to the Animalia kingdom.
  • Corresponding to the phylum Chordata.
  • Of the Sauropsida class.
  • Belongs to the superorder Dinosauria.
  • The specimen corresponds to the order Saurischia.
  • It belongs to the suborder Theropoda.
  • Being part of the infra-order Carnosauria.
  • Belongs to the superfamily Allosauroidea.
  • Within the family Metriacanthosauridae.
  • It is considered corresponding to the subfamily Metriacanthosaurinae.
  • From the genus Metriacanthosaurus.
  • It is represented by the species Metriacanthosaurus parkeri.

Characteristics of the Metriacanthosaurus

As we have already mentioned, this huge animal lived during the period that we identify today as the Jurassic, however, there are not many great details known about the animal, so the scientific challenge of continuing to learn things from it is still a pending issue.

In fact, much of the knowledge that has been obtained about this animal is thanks to the comparison that has been made with specimens from nearby families, so these data are not completely safe but give us an idea of what could have been the extinct animal while it was alive at that time.

It has been calculated that this specimen could have reached a height of more than 2 meters and a total length of 8, the volume of the Metriacanthosaurus would have been a maximum of one thousand kilograms, so if it is considered a large animal, anyway.
The name of this animal was given due to the fact that it has a series of vertebrae that look like thorns, which are notoriously similar to a sail, similar to what happens with the specimen identified as Allosaurus, however, other scientists assure that in reality it is not a sail but a type of hump that this kind of creatures frequently present.

The first findings about the remains of this animal could be located in southern England, where an individual known as Huene was in charge of reviewing these remains in order to let the world know what this was really all about, all this happened in 1923.

In the beginning everything was quite confusing, so it was firmly believed that in fact it was a specimen that today we identify as Megalosaurus.

However, the error was corrected, although many years later, precisely 40 years later, these remains were correctly designated with their official name, which is found in the title of this article, because many researchers managed to differentiate the two specimens, such differences would have caused all this new classification, back in the 1960s.

At that time, this specimen was also considered part of the family called Spinosauridae, because the candle mentioned above was also presented by the specimens of this family.

So they turned out to be quite close relatives, however, the main dinosaur turns out to be much older than the other specimens of that family, being a total of 30 million years the difference, seems abysmal but it is not much if we realize the history of all these specimens.

The Metriacanthosaurus in our culture

This dinosaur has been little used in the most common means of use today, however its official name is handwritten on one of the test tubes that apparently indicated to possess DNA from the specimen, in one of the most famous films of all time, that film of dinosaurs that does not need to be named because we all know it.

An important detail to emphasize is that in that film, at no time does a specimen of these characteristics appear, so there is no need to see the work repeatedly and try to find or locate the Metriacanthosaurus, since only its official name appears written in one of the incredible scenes, as we have already mentioned.