Fossil range: Jurassic - Cretaceous
Life restoration of the megalosaurid Eustreptospondylus.
Life restoration of the megalosaurid Eustreptospondylus.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
(unranked) Tetanurae
Superfamily: Megalosauroidea
Huxley, 1889

Megalosauroidea was a superfamily of tetanuran theropod dinosaurs that lived from the Middle Jurassic to the Late Cretaceous period. It is likely that spinosaurs are a family within this group.


Paul Sereno (1998, 2005) used Spinosauroidea as a clade (keeping the traditional superfamily suffix) containing the megalosaurids and the spinosaurids. While Spinosauroidea has priority of definition (Olshevsky 1995), there is as yet no official body regulating clade names. According to the ICZN rules for naming family-level taxa, the name Megalosauroidea has official priority when used as a superfamily taxon rank, having been implicitly named by Thomas Huxley in 1869, and therefore the name Megalosauroidea automatically replaces the name Spinosauroidea. This rule has been largely ignored in the paleontological literature, including Sereno 2005, which rejects the name Megalosauroidea on the grounds that it was historically paraphyletic (though Sereno retains other historically paraphyletic groups, such as Coelurosauria). The classification of megalosauroids is as follows:


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