Temporal range: Middle Jurassic-Early Cretaceous, 175.6–135Ma
|Sinraptor dongi, Royal Tyrrell Museum|
Metriacanthosauridae is an extinct family of carnivorous allosauroid theropod dinosaurs. They tended to be large predators, some growing to sizes of 10 metres (33 ft). Metriacanthosaurids are carnosaurs, and many were initially classified within Megalosauridae or Allosauridae prior to recent analysis. A gigantic tooth belonging to what most likely is a giant sinraptorid has been described by Xu and Clarke in 2008.
Cladistically, Sinraptoridae was latest defined in 2005 by Paul Sereno as the most inclusive monophyletic group that contains Sinraptor dongi and all species closer related to Sinraptor than to either Allosaurus fragilis, Carcharodontosaurus saharicus, or the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus).
Carrano, Benson & Sampson (2012) noted that the name Metriacanthosauridae should be used as it has priority over Sinraptoridae. Furthermore they named a new subfamily Metriacanthosaurinae to include all metriacanthosaurids more closely related to Metriacanthosaurus than to Yangchuanosaurus. A much larger phylogenetic analysis found the basal megalosauroid Xuanhanosaurus (according to Benson et al., 2010) as the basalmost metriacanthosaurid. Both Poekilopleuron and Lourinhanosaurus were recovered outside the family, and many taxa within the Metriacanthosauridae were in polytomy. However, the position of Xuanhanosaurus and Poekilopleuron is very unstable, and their exclusion from the analysis gave more resolved and stable cladogram. The cladogram presented here follows that study.
- Carrano, M. T.; Benson, R. B. J.; Sampson, S. D. (2012). "The phylogeny of Tetanurae (Dinosauria: Theropoda)". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 10 (2): 211–300. doi:10.1080/14772019.2011.630927.
- Xu, X., Clark, J.M. (2008): The presence of a gigantic theropod in the Jurassic Shishugou Formation, Junggar Basin, western China. Vertebrata PalAsiatica, 46: 158-160. http://www.ivpp.cas.cn/xscbw/xsqk/gjzdwxb/xbwzxz/200811/W020090813369286986655.pdf
- Sereno, Paul. "Sinraptoridae". Taxon Search. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
- Benson, R.B.J., Carrano, M.T and Brusatte, S.L. (2010). "A new clade of archaic large-bodied predatory dinosaurs (Theropoda: Allosauroidea) that survived to the latest Mesozoic". Naturwissenschaften 97 (1): 71–78. Bibcode:2010NW.....97...71B. doi:10.1007/s00114-009-0614-x. PMID 19826771. Supporting Information
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