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Sarcosaurus (London Natural History Museum)


Sarcosaurus (Greek for "flesh lizard"); pronounced SAR-coe-SORE-us


Woodlands of western Europe

Historical Period:

Early Jurassic (195-190 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 12 feet long and 500 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Large head and tail; bipedal stance

About Sarcosaurus:

Compared to later meat-eaters like Allosaurus, Sarcosaurus wasn't much to look at--but this theropod dinosaur was huge by the standards of early Jurassic western Europe. The problem with Sarcosaurus, as with many dinosaurs of this relatively obscure time frame, is that it's represented by fragmentary fossil remains; it may yet wind up being assigned as a species of Ceratosaurus, Dilophosaurus or Liliensternus, all of which it resembled in one way or another. (Needless to say, Sarcosaurus shouldn't be confused with Sarcosuchus, a giant prehistoric crocodile of the Cretaceous period!)
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