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Temporal range: Carnian, 228–216.5Ma
Metopozaur szkielet Krasiejów.JPG
Skeleton of Metoposaurus diagnosticus krasiejowensi in the Krasiejów museum in Poland
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: "Amphibia" (wide sense)
Order: Temnospondyli
Suborder: Stereospondyli
Family: Metoposauridae
Genus: Metoposaurus
Lydekker, 1890

Nomina dubia:

  • M. azerouali Dutuit, 1976
  • M. fraasi Lucas, 1904
  • M. jonesi Case, 1920
  • M. santaecruci Koken, 1913


  • Trigonosternum Schmidt, 1931


  • M. heimi Kuhn, 1932
  • M. stuttgartiensis Fraas, 1913
  • Trigonosternum latum Schmidt, 1931

Metoposaurus is an extinct genus of temnospondyl amphibian, known from the Late Triassic of Germany, Italy, Poland, and Portugal.[1] [2] This mostly aquatic animal possessed small, weak limbs, had sharp teeth and a large flat head.[3] The main diet of this highly flattened creature was fish which it captured with its wide jaws lined with needle teeth. Metoposaurus was up to 3 m (10 feet) long, weighed 454 kg (1,000 pounds),[4] and was one of the last large amphibians. Still, the much larger Koolasuchus survived far into the Cretaceous. A lot of Metoposaurus mass graves have been found, probably from creatures that grouped together in drying pools during drought.

In Popular Culture[edit]

Metoposaurus was shown in the "Dawn of the Dinos" episode of Paleoworld. It was also shown in a book version of Walking with Dinosaurs.



  1. ^ T. Sulej, "Species discrimination of the Late Triassic temnospondyl amphibian Metoposaurus diagnosticus", Acta Paleontologica Polonica, 47, 535-546 (2002)
  2. ^ Steyer, J. S., Mateus O., Butler R. J., Brusatte S. L., & Whiteside J. H. (2011) "A new metoposaurid (temnospondyl) bonebed from the Late Triassic of Portugal", Abstracts of the 71st Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, 200.
  3. ^ Gaines, Richard M. (2001). Coelophysis. ABDO Publishing Company. p. 16. ISBN 1-57765-488-9. 
  4. ^ Gaines, Richard M. (2001). Coelophysis. ABDO Publishing Company. p. 16. ISBN 1-57765-488-9. 

External links[edit]