Megalosaurus

allosaurus covered in England in 1676, probably belonged to Megalosaurus. It was the first dinosaur to be scientifically named and described, in the 1820s. And it was one of the 3 creatures that prompted the English paleontologist Richard Owen in 1841 to coin a name for the group; he chose "Dinosauria," meaning "terrible lizards."

With an overall length of 30 ft/9 m, a height of 10 ft/3 m, and an estimated weight in life of 1 US ton/900 kg, Megalosaurus was a massive creature, with the body of a typical carnosaur. A short, muscular neck carried the large head, with its powerful, hinged jaws armed with curved, saw-edged fangs. Its fingers and toes were strong and clawed. With such weapons, Megalosaurus was well equipped to attack and kill the large, long-necked, plant-eating dinosaurs of the day (see pp. 126-133).

Megalosaurus has left its mark clearly in southern England. Trackways of great footprints are found in the limestone rocks, and trace how these bulky bipeds walked upright on 2 legs, their toes pointing slightly inward, long tails maybe swinging from side to side at each step to balance their heavy bodies.

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