Temporal range: Jurassic
Currie & Zhao, 1993
Metriacanthosaurids were a family of carnivorous theropod dinosaurs. They tended to be large predators, some growing to sizes of 30 ft (10 m). Metriacanthosaurids are carnosaurs, and many were initially classified within Megalosauridae or Allosauridae prior to recent analysis. A gigantic tooth belonging to what most likely is a giant metriacanthosaurid has been described recently by Xu and Clarke (2008).
Cladistically, Metriacanthosauridae was latest defined in 2005 by Paul Sereno as the most inclusive monophyletic group that contains Metriacanthosaurus parkeri and all species closer related to Metriacanthosaurus than to either Allosaurus fragilis, Carcharodontosaurus saharicus, or the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus). It is likely that these theropods represent or are close to the ancestors of the allosaurs. Metriacanthosauridae is often referred to as "Sinraptoridae", but Metriacanthosauridae is the correct name under ICZN rules, since Metriacanthosaurus was the first member of the family to be described and named.
- Benson, R.B.J., Carrano, M.T and Brusatte, S.L. (2010). "A new clade of archaic large-bodied predatory dinosaurs (Theropoda: Allosauroidea) that survived to the latest Mesozoic". Naturwissenschaften 97 (1): 71–78. doi:10.1007/s00114-009-0614-x. Supporting Information
- Xu, X., Clark, J.M. (2008): The presence of a gigantic theropod in the Jurassic Shishugou Formation, Junggar Basin, western China. Vertebrata PalAsiatica, 46: 158-160. http://www.ivpp.cas.cn/xscbw/xsqk/gjzdwxb/xbwzxz/200811/W020090813369286986655.pdf
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