The first dinosaur ever discovered, this was the monster that started it all.
Meaning of name: Big lizard
Species: Megalosaurus bucklandi; there were other species (M. dabukensis, M. philipsi and M. tibetensis) but they are now cassified as the same species.
Size: 9 meters (30 feet) long.
Classifications: Theropoda, Tetanurae, Carnosauria.
Time: Aelenian to Bajocian stages (middle Jurassic).
Location: England and France, possibly Portugal.
Named by: William Buckland, in 1824.
This was the first dinosaur ever discovered (1676) by ‘modern’ science, it was also the first dinosaur to be given a scientific name (although it was only named 148 years after it’s initial discovery).
Megalosaurus was once referred to as a ‘wastebucket genus’, because many middle Jurassic theropods were simply (and mistakenly) assigned the genus without much thought (roughly 50 different genera, including Dilophosaurus and Eustreptospondylus).
We’re not entirely sure how Megalosaurus looked, as the only fossils we have of it are a piece of a jawbone and a few other fragments, but what we do have paints a picture of a typical theropod dinosaur (think ‘mini-T.rex’).
This has been Megalosaurus, this has been me; and you’ve been reading Paleontology Made Easy.
Image courtesy of Dinopedia.wikia.com