Temporal range: 166–Middle JurassicMa
|A restoration of Megalosaurus bucklandii|
| Megalosaurus bucklandii|
The first scientifically named dinosaur is Megalosaurus (Buckland, 1824) was a large Theropod dinosaur of the Megalosauroid family and was the first dinosaur skeleton ever discovered. It was discovered by William Buckland in the 1820s, and recognized as a huge reptile. However, Richard Plot wrote a scientific paper on the bottom of this dinosaur's femur, which he called "Scrotum humanum", in 1627, nearly two centuries and 7 years before. The discovery of Megalosaurus changed the way scientists looked at Earth's past forever, since they then realized that humans weren't the first creatures to walk on this planet. For long time, every giant theropod founded in Europe (or even North America) was considered for a species of Megalosaurus. Because of this, for the decades in the Oxford university was an Eustreptospondylus, not Megalosaurus, how they learned there. It was one of the original trio that Richard Owen proposed to call the Dinosaurian in 1842, along with Iguanodon and Hylaeosaurus.
Megalosaurus was a very large theropod for its day, reaching between 28 and 39 feet (8.5 to 12 meters) long, and weighing 1.5 to 2 tons, it one of the largest predator in its area of occurrence. It had somewhat short, but strong arms with sharp, hooklike claws on three fingers, perfectly designed for gripping onto prey and slashing at it. It also had long, powerful hindlegs, good for chasing down prey. Its tail, like most other theropods, was built to help balance it while moving. It had a long, narrow skull with sharp, bladelike teeth for slicing through the flesh of other creatures. But, his bite wasn't weaker than Allosaurus's, despite his skull was much more flattened. That's because he had a very thick, neck, helping him to bite the victim very strong. He's designed for run, and his tail was moving from side to side when this dinosaur is walking. Mentioned tail is very hard, helping Megalosaurus to balance. It presents half of the Megalosaurus's weight. His hunting techniques were very cruel. first, he taken prey on the groun, then eat the victim alive. It was a close relative of the larger Torvosaurus of North America and the similarly-sized Edmarka, that nearly drove Allosaurus to outcompetition until considerably larger allosaurids such as Saurophaganax appeared. Megalosaurus for a long time was thought to have been a carnosaur, but closer analysis of the bones proved it was its own genus. The newer version of Megalosaurus looks much different than the old-fashioned version of dinosaurs, which looked like large, lumbering lizards instead of large, upright, birdlike reptiles. It used to be pictured looking closely like a large Komodo Dragon, walking on four stout, sprawled legs with its tail dragging on the ground.
In the MediaEdit
- Megalosaurus is not really too popular of a dinosaur in TV shows or documentaries, but it's quite famous in the paleontology world and in most books listing dinosaurs.
- It was mentioned several times in Robert T. Bakker's book, The Dinosaur Heresies, and is shown killing an ancient crocodile, and also is shown with its jaw bone compared to an early mammal called Megazostrodon.
- It's also listed in a book called The Ultimate Book of Dinosaurs, where they talk about the theropod and give a general description of it, and another one called Dino Wars, where they compare its deadliness to other dinosaurs. In England, there are parks with statues of the old-fashioned Megalosaurus created by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins by Buckingham Palace.
- Megalosaurus is the type of species that Earl from Jim Henson's Dinosaurs is. It also appears in the game, Jurassic World: The Game as a tournament dinosaur. It also appears in Dino Hunter: Deadly Shore in its' old inaccurate lizard-like form. It will appear in ARK: Survival Evolved.
- In When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, a quadrupedal Megalosaurus exists, Which is similar to the one as a quadruped. Some think the Creature in the Film looks more like a quadruped Tyrannosaurus rex.