Megalosaurus lived about 181-169 million years ago. It was one the first dinosaur fossils ever discovered. A man named William Buckland first studied these ancient bones in England, and in 1824 he named the creature Megalosaurus, which means “great lizard”. He wrote the first scientific description of what would eventually be called a “dinosaur”. William Buckland didn’t find a whole skeleton. He only found pieces of a leg, shoulder, hip and jaw. From these pieces, he did his best to build the first picture of a dinosaur. And even though he didn’t have many bones to work with, he understood that Megalosaurus was a large, bipedal dinosaur. This means that it walked on two legs.
Even today, we do not know very much about this dinosaur. That is because we have not found many Megalosaurus fossils. We do know that Megalosaurus was a huge dinosaur. It grew up to 30 feet long, ten feet tall, and weighed about a ton. That’s about as big as a school bus. It had a strong, short neck and a large head. It had a thick, long tail, and heavy bones. Its toes had sharp claws. It used its front claws to grab its food. It walked on two thick, strong legs. Many paleontologists believe that it was clumsy walker. We know this by studying its footprints or trackways. Its toes point inward and the prints seem to show that it wasn’t very agile. However, Megalosaurus could probably run very fast when it needed to.
Megalosaurus was a carnivore, meaning that it hunted other animals for food. It had long, curved, serrated teeth that had jagged edges, like a saw. It was a fierce predator that could kill even large sauropods such as Diplodocus and Apatosaurus. It ate a lot of different kinds of animals. Megalosaurus may also have been a scavenger, meaning that it ate leftovers from other dinosaurs’ dinners. We do not know whether it moved about in groups or whether it spent most of its time alone. So far, only single bones have been found in a few places.