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Magnosaurus (Nobu Tamura)


Magnosaurus (Greek for "large lizard"); pronounced MAG-no-SORE-us


Woodlands of Western Europe

Historical Period:

Middle Jurassic (175 million years ago)

Size and Weight:

About 13 feet long and 400 pounds



Distinguishing Characteristics:

Small size; bipedal stance


About Magnosaurus:

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.

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