Fossil range: mid Cretaceous
Eustreptospondylus head2
The megalosaurid Eustreptospondylus.
Conservation status
Extinct (fossil)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
(unranked) Tetanurae
Superfamily: Megalosauroidea
Family: Megalosauridae
homas Henry Huxley, 1869
  • Megalosaurinae Huxley, 1889
  • Eustreptospondylinae Jensen, 1985

Megalosaurids were a family of tetanuran theropod dinosaurs, order Saurischia. They were small-to-large carnivores with sharp teeth and three claws on each hand. Some members of this group were Megalosaurus, Eustreptospondylus and Torvosaurus. Megalosaurids only lived in the mid-to-late Jurassic Period and have representatives found in Europe, North America, South America and Africa to date. They are considered by most researchers (Sereno 2005, Olshevsky 1995, Holtz 2004, etc.) to be close relatives of the spinosaurs.

Like Megalosaurus itself, the family Megalosauridae, coined by Huxley in 1869, had traditionally been used as a 'wastebasket' group, which included a wide variety of unrelated species (such as Dryptosaurus, Ceratosaurus and Indosaurus). Because of this traditionally polyphyletic use, some scientists, such as Paul Sereno (2005), reject the family name Megalosauridae in favor of Torvosauridae (Jensen, 1985), despite the fact that Megalosauridae has priority under the ICZN rules governing family-level names in zoology. Similarly, Sereno and others reject the use of the superfamily name Megalosauroidea in favor of Spinosauroidea.


Superfamily Megalosauroidea

Family Megalosauridae
Subfamily Megalosaurinae
Subfamily Eustreptospondylinae

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