Megalosaurus (Buckland, 1824) was a medium-sized Theropod dinosaur of the Megalosauroid family and was the first dinosaur skeleton ever discovered. It was discovered by William Buckland in the 1820s, and recognized as a huge reptile. However, Richard Plot wrote a scientific paper on the bottom of this dinosaur's femur, which he called "Scrotum humanum", in 1627, nearly two centuries and 7 years before. The discovery of Megalosaurus changed the way scientists looked at Earth's past forever, since they then realized that humans weren't the first creatures to walk on this planet.
Megalosaurus was a very large theropod for its day, reaching between 30 and 33 feet (9 to 10 meters) long, and weighing 2 tons, it was the largest predator in its area of occurrence. It had somewhat short, but strong arms with sharp, hooklike claws on three fingers, perfectly designed for gripping onto prey and slashing at it. It also had long, powerful hindlegs, good for chasing down prey. Its tail, like most other theropods, was built to help balance it while moving. It had a long, narrow skull with sharp, bladelike teeth for slicing through the flesh of other creatures. It was a close relative of the larger Torvosaurus of North America and the similarly-sized Edmarka, that nearly drove Allosaurus to outcompetition until considerably larger allosaurids such as Saurophaganax appeared. Megalosaurus for a long time was thought to have been a carnosaur, but closer analysis of the bones proved it was its own genus. The newer version of Megalosaurus looks much different than the old-fashioned version of dinosaurs, which looked like large, lumbering lizards instead of large, upright, birdlike reptiles. It used to be pictured looking closely like a large Komodo Dragon, walking on four stout, sprawled legs with its tail dragging on the ground.
Megalosaurus is not really too popular of a dinosaur in TV shows or documentaries, but it's quite famous in the paleontology world and in most books listing dinosaurs. It was mentioned several times in Robert T. Bakker's book, The Dinosaur Heresies, and is shown killing an ancient crocodile, and also is shown with its jaw bone compared to an early mammal called Megazostrodon. It's also listed in a book called The Ultimate Book of Dinosaurs, where they talk about the theropod and give a general description of it, and another one called Dino Wars, where they compare its deadliness to other dinosaurs. In England, there are parks with statues of the old-fashioned Megalosaurus created by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins by Buckingham Palace. Megalosaurus is the type of species that Earl from Jim Henson's Dinosaurs is.