Metriacanthosaurus

METRIACANTHOSAURUS


(MET-re-ah-CAN-thut-SOAR-us)


MEANS:
Medium spine lizard

PERIOD:
Mid-Jurassic – 160-155 Mya

WHERE:
Europe, UK

SIZE:
Length: 8 meters (27 feet)
Height: 1.8 meters (6 feet)
Weight: 1 tonne (2000 lb)






A truly mysterious dinosaur, there have only been a few partial specimens of Metriacanthosaurus found to date. Although the skull of Metriacanthosaurus has been missing from the fossil remains, scientists can conjecture that the shape was much like all theropods of the mid-Jurassic Period - long, flat topped and with a rounded snout. The long neural spines may have supported a “skin sail” which could have helped to regulate heat and body temperature. In the Cretaceous Period these skin sails evolved into enormous displays in dinosaurs such as Spinosaurus.