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I Know Dino Podcast: Megalosaurus


    Episode 47 is all about Megalosaurus, a carnivore and one of many three dinosaurs to comprise the unique group Dinosauria.

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    On this episode, we talk about:

    • The dinosaur of the day: Megalosaurus, whose identify means “Nice Lizard”
    • Comes from the late Center Jurassic of Oxfordshire, England, although fossils from different areas have additionally been referred to as Megalosaurus
    • One Megalosaurus bone, the decrease a part of a femur, was present in 1676 and described by Robert Plot, a chemistry professor on the College of Oxford and first curator of the Ashmolean Museum, because the thighbone of a Roman warfare elephant, however later thought it got here from an enormous human (as talked about in Bible); bone is misplaced, however the illustration was so detailed it’s been recognized as Megalosaurus
    • Plot printed an outline and illustration (first illustration of a dinosaur printed)
    • The primary scientific identify was from the 1700s, by Richard Brookes, who referred to as it Scrotum humanum (not a legitimate identify now)
    • First non-avian dinosaur to be validly named, named in 1824
    • Sort species is Megalosaurus bucklandii, named in 1827
    • In 1815, John Kidd reported on the discover of bones in on the Stonesfield quarry, the place the Megalosaurus femur was discovered, of large tetrapods, which William Buckland, professor of geology on the College of Oxford and dean of Christ Church, acquired
    • Buckland was an fascinating fellow, who apparently had a pet bear he appreciated to decorate in tutorial robes, he had a desk made with dinosaur droppings that folks admired with out realizing what they had been, and he appreciated to eat no matter he may attempt, together with panthers, crocodiles and toasted mice (he mentioned mole and blue-bottle fly tasted the worst)
    • French comparative anatomist Georges Cuvier visited Buckland in 1818 and mentioned they got here from an enormous lizard-like creature
    • Buckland and his buddy William Conybeare studied the fossils and Conybeare mentioned they had been from a “Enormous Lizard” (1821)
    • In 1822 James Parkinson, a doctor, introduced the identify Megalosaurus and illustrated one of many tooth (mentioned it was 40 ft lengthy and eight ft tall)
    • Buckland saved finding out Megalosaurus in 1823, and his spouse Mary Morland drew the bones (foundation for illustrating lithographies); Buckland formally introduced Megalosaurus in 1824
    • William Buckland formally described the primary dinosaur in his paper “Discover on the Megalosaurusor nice Fossil Lizard of Stonesfield”, printed in 1824 within the Geological Society of London
    • Buckland didn’t present a selected identify (frequent within the early nineteenth century–genus was extra necessary than species identify)
    • On the time, there have been orthodox Christians who had an issue with the existence of Megalosaurus (held that struggling and demise solely got here from Unique Sin, which didn’t make sense with a carnivorous creature that lived earlier than people); some folks mentioned Megalosaurus was initially a peaceable vegetarian, however Buckland mentioned it helped finish animal struggling by preying on outdated and sick animals
    • Ferdinand von Ritgengave named the species Megalosaurus conybeari in 1826, however not many individuals used that identify
    • In 1827, Gideon Mantell named it Megalosaurus bucklandii
    • Buckland thought Megalosaurus was quadrupedal and an amphibian that appeared like an enormous lizard (although he did perceive primarily based on the thighbone that it will have been extra upright than sprawled)
    • The concept that Megalosaurus and carnivorous dinosaurs normally had been quadrupedal was challenged in 1859 with Compsognathus, after which in 1870 with Eustreptospondylus; after, John Philips made the primary show of a theropod skeleton in Oxford, arranging Megalosaurus bones as bipedal
    • Megalosaurus and two different genera had been used to call Dinosauria in 1842 (by Richard Owen)
    • The opposite two dinosaurs that impressed Dinosauria had been Iguanodon and Hylaeosaurus
    • Owen directed a mannequin made for the Crystal Palace
    • Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins was commissioned to construct Megalosaurus in 1852 for the Crystal Palace Park; it had a hump on the shoulders and the mannequin helped the general public in England remember that historical reptiles lived
    • For a very long time after being found, Megalosaurus was seen as the standard massive carnivorous dinosaur, and it grew to become a wastebasket taxon (a number of dinosaurs assigned the genus, however that modified within the twentieth century, when scientists began limiting Megalosaurus to fossils present in England, from the Jurassic interval
    • Any fossils discovered that weren’t sufficient to call a brand new genus (often of single tooth), had been labeled as Megalosaurus; at one level had essentially the most species of any non-avian dinosaur genus (a number of them have been re-classified)
    • Examples of the wastebasket taxon getting used (all primarily based on a single tooth) embrace Megalosaurus cloacinus, Megalosaurus insignis, Megalosaurus meriani
    • Dinosaurs that had been initially Megalosaurus embrace Duriavenator, Eustreptospondylus, Magnosaurus, Metriacanthosaurus, Dilophosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus
    • Plenty of different examples too
    • Greater than 50 species have been labeled below the genus Megalosaurus, when dinosaurs weren’t well-known, and even within the twentieth century when extra was identified
    • Megalosaurus has a variety of synonyms, largely due to the best way it was spelled in papers. In 1913, one creator added a “u” and made the synonym Megalousaurus; in 1926 one other paper misspelled Megalosaurus 4 occasions, creating 4 new synonyms “Megalasaurus,” “Megolosaurus,” Megalosaurns” and “Magalosausus”; this occurred once more in 1964, when the “g” was by accident changed with a “q” to make “Meqalosaurus”
    • Ronan Allain and Dan Chure mentioned within the late twentieth/early21st century that the fossils present in the identical quarry as Megalosaurus could also be a number of sorts of dinosaurs. Some researchers mentioned there have been no distinguishing traits between Megalosaurus and different relations, making Megalosaurus a nomen dubium, however in 2008 Roger Benson and colleagues analyzed Megalosaurus and recognized distinguishing traits within the decrease jaw
    • Traits embrace a large longitudinal groove on the outer floor on the dentary, the third tooth socket not being enlarged, tall interdental plates that reinforce the tooth
    • No full skeletons have been discovered, however Benson printed an in depth research of identified bones in 2010
    • No full skeleton has been discovered of Megalosaurus
    • First researchers thought Megalosaurus was an enormous lizard 20 m lengthy; Richard Personal in 1842 mentioned it was 9 m lengthy and was quadrupedal; these days regarded as 23 ft or 7 m lengthy, weighing 1.1 tonnes, bipedal with an extended tail for steadiness
    • As much as 30 ft lengthy (9m), 10 ft (3 m ) tall, weighed about 1 ton
    • Additionally quick forelimbs, massive head, a number of muscle, and lengthy curved tooth
    • Bipedal, lengthy tail, lengthy hindlimbs with three forward-facing toes, quick forelimbs with three digits every
    • Giant, lengthy head with dagger like tooth
    • Not a lot identified in regards to the cranium, however decrease jaw was most likely slim
    • Most likely apex predator
    • Might have hunted stegosaurs and sauropods (early descriptions have it searching Iguanodon, although Iguanodon really lived a lot later)
    • Might have killed sauropods, could have been a scavenger
    • Bleak Home, Charles Dicken’s serial novel printed between 1852 and 1853 is among the first dinosaur references in literature. He wrote “As a lot mud within the streets as if the waters had however newly retired from the face of the earth, and it will not be great to satisfy a Megalosaurus, forty ft lengthy or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill.”
    • Buckland’s son, Franklin Trevelyan Buckland got here up with the concept dinosaurs gave rise to dragon myths
    • Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins’ Megalosaurus remains to be round (although the glasshouse burned down in 1936)
    • Across the similar time Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins constructed the Megalosaurus statue, Edouard Riou drew the well-known picture of Megalosaurus and Iguanodon in a vicious battle (very inaccurate, esp. since Iguanodon was an herbivore)
    • Earl Sinclair from the TV present Dinosaurs is a Megalosaurus
    • Megalosaurus was a theropod and a tetanuran
    • Tenanurae means “stiff tails” and is a clade that features extra theropods
    • Appeared within the early or center Jurassic
    • Clade was named in 1986 by Jacques Gauthier
    • Consists of all theropods extra intently associated to fashionable birds than Ceratosaurus
    • Enjoyable Truth: The paper that described the holotype of Tyrannosaurus rex additionally described one other dinosaur referred to as Dynamosaurus imperiosus, which had been later decided to be the identical species. T-rex was written earlier within the paper making it the official identify of the species, in any other case we’d be strolling round saying D-imperiosus