A Metricanthosaurus from Jurassic World

Name meaning

"Moderately-Spined Lizard[1]"




3.5 meters (12 ft)


8 meters (26 ft)[1]


2 ton[1]




Isla Nublar
Isla Sorna

Movie canon appearances

Jurassic Park (Embryo only)
Jurassic World (Website only)

Game appearances

Jurassic World: The Game

Template Source

Metriacanthosaurus was a fairly large meat-eater that lived in Northern Europe near the end of the Jurassic Period. This carnivore was fairly typical of Jurassic theropods.[2] Metriacanthosaurus gets its name for its backbones, which have spines on top that are taller than in many meat-eaters (such as Allosaurus or Tyrannosaurus) but much smaller than those of Spinosaurus.[3]

At one time Metriacanthosaurus was thought to be the same as Megalosaurus, but later studies showed that it was different enough to give it a new name. It actually took nearly forty years to distinguish Metriacanthosaurus from Megalosaurus![2]

Because so little is known about this dinosaur, any pictures of it or speculation on its habits are based on comparisons with meat-eating dinosaurs of which we have more complete skeletons.[3]

Wikipedia has a more detailed and comprehensive article on Metriacanthosaurus


Jurassic Park


Metriacanthosaurus among the dinosaur embryos in the Cold Storage Room.

Metriacanthosaurus was recreated by InGen in the InGen Compound on Isla Sorna. Metriacanthosaurus was planned to live in its own paddock on Jurassic Park probably during Phase 1 or Phase 2.[4]

It is unknown if any Metriacanthosaurs were on Isla Nublar, though an x-ray of its skull inside the Isla Nublar Field Lab could imply that there could have been at least one on the island. It is also unknown if Metriacanthosaurus was one of the dinosaurs that survived being wild on Isla Sorna after Hurricane Clarissa.


Jurassic World

InGen recreated Metriacanthosaurus again for Masrani Global Corporation's Jurassic World. These Metriacanthosaurus had some form of proto-feathers on their arms and up and down their spine. The color of these clones was brown with orange stripes on its body and tail and black stripes on its face and lime green on its crests. The new clones lived in the Cretaceous Cruise. Unlike the actual species, these clones are a meter smaller.


Jurassic World: The Game

see Metriacanthosaurus/JW: TG

Metriacanthosaurus is a tournament dinosaur. This is the first time it has physically appeared in a Jurassic Park video game.

Behind the scenes

According to vertebrate paleontologist Thomas R. Holtz, Jr., the name Metriacanthosaurus on the park map and embryo coolers probably meant to refer to Yangchuanosaurus (which was then classified as a species of the Metriacanthosaurus genus).

In Jurassic Park, the name Metriacanthosaurus shows up on the list of embryos stored in refrigeration. This is probably because, for a short time in the mid-1980s, a paleontologist considered the much better known theropod Yangchuanosaurus to be a species of Metriacanthosaurus.[3]

In an email Holtz wrote:

As a side note, Spielberg & Crichton likely followed the same generic reference in "Jurassic Park", as

"Metriacanthosaurus" is one of the dinosaur taxa whose DNA vials Nedry steals.
Presumably, S & C were thinking about M. shangyouensis, which is on the cover 
of Paul's Predatory Dinosaurs of the World, rather than M. parkeri)."[5]


Fieldlab lg

The Metriacanthosaurus skull in the Field Lab.

Metriacanthosaurus was rumored to physically appear in Jurassic Park: The Game, but this did not happen. A skull of one did appear in the Isla Nublar Field Lab.

The Metriacanthosaurus in Jurassic World: The Game uses the same animations and sound effects of the Tyrannosaurus rex, Carnotaurus, Majungasaurus, Allosaurus, Megalosaurus, Rajasaurus, Giganotosaurus, Tyrannotitan, Gorgosaurus, and Yutyrannus, but unlike most, it has an accurate number of fingers: 3.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Metriacanthosaurus. (2015, February). Retrieved from
  2. 2.0 2.1 Metriacanthosaurus. (2001). Retrieved from
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Holtz T. R. (2001, June). Dinosaur Field Guide, pages 94, 95.
  4. Metriacanthosaurus is not seen on the park tour that Dr. Alan Grant, Ian Malcolm, Dr. Ellie Sattler, Donald Gennaro, and Tim and Lex Murphy were on. So it's safe to assume that the dinosaur was planned for later stage in Jurassic Park's lifecycle.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Re: Metriacanthosaurus"