Metriacanthosaurus (Moderately spined lizard)
Alick Walker - 1964
Estimated 6 meters long
M. parkeri (type)
England - Oxford Clay
Mid Jurassic, 165 million years ago
Metriacanthosaurus is a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived in the middle Jurassic period, about 165 million years ago. Its name means “moderately spined lizard,” which refers to the distinctive spines on its back.
The first fossils of Metriacanthosaurus were discovered in England in the early 20th century, and the genus was formally described in 1923. The type species, Metriacanthosaurus parkeri, is known from partial skeletons, including a skull and vertebrae, and is estimated to have been around 6 meters (20 feet) long.
Metriacanthosaurus is classified as a medium-sized theropod, and is believed to have been a carnivorous predator. Its teeth were serrated and blade-like, and it likely hunted small to medium-sized prey such as other dinosaurs, mammals, and reptiles. Some scientists have suggested that it may have had a more scavenging lifestyle, rather than actively hunting.
Metriacanthosaurus is one of several carnivorous theropods that lived in Europe during the Jurassic period, along with other well-known genera such as Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus. Although it is not as famous as some of its relatives, it is an important species for understanding the diversity and evolution of theropod dinosaurs during this time period.