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17 Dino-mite Metriacanthosaurus Facts That Kids Will Love

Read these fascinating Metriacanthosaurus facts for kids that you are sure to love.

The name Metriacanthosaurus belongs to the genus of Metriocanthosaurid. This spined lizard belonged to the late Jurassic age, which was almost 160 million years in the past, and inhabited Europe.

Friedrich von Huene, a paleontologist, in his scientific paper focused on these dinosaurs and the Cretaceous period. In the year 1923, he examined several collected fossils that had fragments of the hip, a leg bone, and fragments of vertebrae. He originally assigned fossils to a whole new species under the Megalosaurus known as the Megalosaurus parkeri. This name was kept after W. Parker, a paleontologist and excavator, who had excavated this fossil from Weymouth. Fossil remains were found in England and dated back to the upper Jurassic period.

However, in 1932, von Huene decided that these fossils were of a species named the Altispinax. Alick Walker, a paleontologist, in 1964 decided that these fossils were quite different from the Altispinax, as vertebrae that the Altispinax had were missing in the Metriacanthosaurus. Therefore, based on this data, he named the new genus Metriacanthosaurus. It took a lot of time for researchers to conclude that the Metriacanthosaurus was different from the Megalosaurus.

There were several extensive types of research done, and it took almost 40 years to conclude that the former dinosaur was different from the latter. As there are very few fossil remains that have been found, researchers are not quite clear about the Metriacanthosaurus skeleton shape and therefore tried to fit this dinosaur in similar-looking dinosaur groups. It is stated to be related to the genus named Yangchuanosaurus. Paul, in 1988, chose to use the two genera as synonyms but Naish and Martill, while reviewing British dinosaurs in 2007, concluded that the two genera are quite different.

Scroll down to read about the Metriacanthosaurus parkeri's life, what they fed on, their habits, and other exciting details! If you want to discover more like the Metriacanthosaurus, take a look at the Heterodontosaurus and the Ostafrikasaurus.

Metriacanthosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Metriacanthosaurus'?

The name Metriacanthosaurus is pronounced as 'met-ri-a-can-tho-saw-rus'.

What type of dinosaur was a Metriacanthosaurus?

The Metriacanthosaurus, a carnivore in nature, was an animal that belonged to the late Jurassic period, which was almost 160 million years ago.

In which geological period did the Metriacanthosaurus roam the Earth?

The dinosaur belonged to the late Jurassic age, which was almost 160 million years in the past, and lived near northern Europe.

When did the Metriacanthosaurus become extinct?

Dinosaurs, in general, went extinct almost 65 million years in the past, at the end of the Cretaceous time period, after living on the Earth for about 165 million years. This species lived during the late Jurassic period about 160 million years ago, which means that they went extinct way before the end of the period of dinosaurs ended.

Where did a Metriacanthosaurus live?

Being medium-sized predators, they mostly lived on the terrestrial range and habituated areas that had dense vegetation as these areas had more herbivorous dinosaurs for the Metriacanthosaurus to prey on.

What was a Metriacanthosaurus's habitat?

Before lands shifted after the extinction of dinosaurs, the land had a different structure and was called Pangea. This species of dinosaur is said to have inhabited present-day Europe and more specifically the island range of Isla Nubiar and Isla Sorna. Both of these islands no longer exist now.

Who did a Metriacanthosaurus live with?

This species was ravenous and violent and not at all social. Therefore, the dinosaur lived with its own breed or medium-sized dinosaurs that were carnivores as well. It lived in groups or herds in order to prey easily. This Metriacanthosaurus pack also helped these dinosaurs to protect themselves from bigger predators.

How long did a Metriacanthosaurus live?

There isn't a definite time frame of this species' life span, but it is speculated that, like other Megalosaurids, they lived for almost 80 years. There is very little information on this species due to the lack of fossil remains.

How did they reproduce?

These Metriocanthosaurid genus dinosaurs, much like other reptiles, mated with each other during the breeding season, and in the case of this breed, the female dinosaur laid eggs. Eggs hatched after a certain period of time, and newborn dinosaurs came out. Adult dinosaurs took care of newborns until they could move with their parents or go along with their new family.

Metriacanthosaurus Fun Facts

What did a Metriacanthosaurus look like?

The Metricanthosaurus got its name because of its different vertebrae. The meaning of the name is 'moderately-spined lizard'. The Greek term 'metrikos' means medium, and 'akantha' means spine, and therefore this species was named as the moderately-spined lizard based on the fact that its vertebrae were quite different from that of meat-eaters like the Acrocanthosaurus which is taller than this dinosaur. Vertebrae were lower than that of the Allosaurus. The spine of this dinosaur differentiated it from other dinosaurs.

This dinosaur species was a medium-sized Theropod, and the femur was almost 31.5 in (80 cm) in length. The dinosaur is known from fossils that were found, an almost complete skeleton, including some parts of the pelvis region, fragments of the vertebra, and fragments of the leg. This data content surely helped paleontologists to conclude that it was a big carnivorous dinosaur. In 1920, the popular Megalosaurus was thought to be similar to that of the Metriacanthosaurus and after many years went by and much research was done, the latter was considered to be a different species.

Based on its closely related dinosaur, Theropods, the Metriacanthosaurus would have had a short and deep skull, with long, curved teeth that were ideal for catching large prey, like other kinds of dinosaurs. Feet of the Theropod dinosaur would have been large as well like feet of other Theropod species. They were bipedal as well, which gave them strong back legs and smaller front legs. Front legs of the dinosaur almost looked like tiny hands with small fingers.

This Metriacanthosaurus picture shows a sample sketch of these Megalosaurid dinosaurs.

How many bones did a Metriacanthosaurus have?

There is very little content on the Metriacanthosaurus, but it is thought to be similar to that of the Megalosaurus. Based on that, the Metriacanthosaurus would have had a comparatively short and wide skull, with long, backward-curving teeth that were ideal for biting into large prey, like other kinds of dinosaurs. Feet of the Theropod dinosaur would have been large as well like feet of other Theropod species. They were bipedal as well, which gave them strong back legs and smaller front legs. Front feet of the dinosaur almost looked like tiny hands with small fingers. There is no significant information about the Metriacanthosaurus bone structure or the skeleton, and until there are proper excavations, it can't be stated.

How did they communicate?

There is no specific mention of how they communicated, but they definitely didn't have modern means of communication. Like any other animal, dinosaurs communicated by making sounds and using their body language. They might have used hoots and hollers to communicate. Being ravenous predators, this dinosaur species had a high-pitched growl which was used to call for help during hunting.

How big was a Metriacanthosaurus?

The Metriacanthosaurus size was about 31.5 in (80 cm) in length, and the Metriacanthosaurus height was about 71 in (180.3 cm). This makes it almost two times smaller than the brown bear, which is about 72-108 in (182.9-274.3 cm) in length and 59-110 in (149.9-279.4 cm) in height. The Metriacanthosaurus was not tall and didn't have a long body, but like any other carnivores, its reflexes were quite strong and it could have overpowered other predators.

How fast could a Metriacanthosaurus move?

They preyed on herbivore dinosaur species and therefore didn't have to sprint that fast, but they could run at a speed of 15-20 mph (24.1-32.2 kph).

How much did a Metriacanthosaurus weigh?

The Metriacanthosaurus weight was about 2,205 lb (1,000 kg) which makes it almost three times heavier than the North American black bear, which is about 90-660 lb (40.8-299.4 kg) in weight.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for male or female dinosaurs of this species. They are commonly known as the Metriacanthosaurus or the Metriacanthosaurus parkeri.

What would you call a baby Metriacanthosaurus?

The newborn dinosaur was known as a hatchling or a nestling. This was common for most dinosaur species.

What did they eat?

The diet of this carnivore consisted of mainly smaller herbivorous dinosaurs and even smaller carnivorous dinosaurs. They were quite ravenous and would prey on same-sized or smaller dinosaurs like the Hesperonychus.

How aggressive were they?

Theropods who were carnivores with a diet consisting of meat tended to be more aggressive. The Metricanthosaurus was no different and was one of the first dinosaurs to be reported to have had venom, which the dinosaur used during combat.

Did you know...

The Metriacanthosaurus dinosaur had appearances in movies like Jurassic Park (embryo only), Jurassic World, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The movies Jurassic Park and Jurassic World and other parts of the movie Jurassic Park are quite famous for showcasing dinosaurs that are in a Jurassic Park and are made from the DNA of dead dinosaurs. This movie franchise is an insight into dinosaurs and the present world. The Metriacanthosaurus and Tyrannosauuras were the most celebrated dinosaurs in this series of movies.

Which dinosaurs lived with a Metriacanthosaurus?

This species was quite violent and predatory and would have engaged against smaller or same-sized dinosaurs. It is safe to say that they lived with carnivorous dinosaurs that were of the same size as the Deinonychus. The Metriacanthosaurus could have lived with a Tyrannosaurus rex too. The Metriacanthosaurus compatibility with other dinosaurs wasn't that great.

Was a Metriacanthosaurus venomous?

The only carnivore that had venom, according to research, was this species, and it is speculated that they used the venom to attack while preying and while engaging in combat with other dinosaurs.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Harpactognathus facts, or Tupuxuara facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable dinosaur color by numbers coloring pages.

Main image by FunkMonk (Michael B. H.)

Second image by Gallimimus wikipedista

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