Magnosaurus (Greek for "large lizard"); pronounced MAG-no-SORE-us
Woodlands of Western Europe
Middle Jurassic (175 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 13 feet long and 400 pounds
Small size; bipedal stance
Paleontologists are still untangling the confusion generated by the early discovery (in 1676) of Megalosaurus, after which every dinosaur that vaguely resembled it was assigned, incorrectly, to its genus. A good example is Magnosaurus, which (based on its limited fossil remains) was considered a species of Megalosaurus until fairly recently. Apart from this taxonomic confusion, Magnosaurus appears to have been a typical theropod of the middle Jurassic period, relatively small (only 400 pounds or so) and speedy compared to its later Jurassic and Cretaceous descendants.