Dino Diaries #12 – The Megalosaurus

June 8, 2023

Our resident Paleontologist, Natalia Jagielska is back again – this time giving us some insider information about the #megalosaurus!


The Bare Bone Basics:
A bulky carnivore with a large head, an apex predator haunting small islands that once made up Middle-Jurassic British Isles. It was a far cry from carnivorous giants of the Cretaceous, but already showcasing the ferocity of theropods and foreshadowing things to come. The animal grew up surrounded by flying pterosaurs and long-necked sauropods.

An Interesting Story:
Megalosaurus wasn’t the largest or most nefarious of theropod dinosaurs, but it was among the more important regarding its role in palaeontological history. Its fossils were recovered as far back as 1699, before people knew what dinosaur bone was, with one leg bone being famously labelled as a petrified human body part! It was the first extinct dinosaur to be properly described and named, and illustrated by Mary Morland in the early 19th century. Thanks to it we’ve got the word Dinosaurs!

The Known Unknowns:
We don’t have the full skeleton of the Megalosaurus, so our understanding of its anatomy and size comes from filling in the gaps and extrapolation using fossils of other similarly sized and anatomically analogous dinosaurs from other formations and locations. This is the case for much of the known species of dinosaurs, as the fossil record rarely preserves full-in-tact well-preserved skeletons. It also means we sometimes might get things wrong and that even long-known dinosaurs still hold many mysteries.

How did our own in-game Megalosaurus rate?
Natalia gives our chonker a 4/5. “Teeth definitively smaller, more numerous, and likely covered by lips; love the plantigrade stance.”

Wishlist Paleo Pines to find your own Megas in the wild! https://bit.ly/PaleoSteam