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CollectA Megalosaurus in Ambush Reviewed

By | August 7th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|

Our thanks to dinosaur model collector William who sent into Everything Dinosaur a detailed review of his recently purchased CollectA Megalosaurus in ambush model. This dinosaur figure had been introduced by CollectA earlier this year and William was keen to sing the model’s praises.

CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Megalosaurus in Ambush
The CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Megalosaurus in ambush figure. The muted tones would have provided excellent camouflage for this Jurassic hunter. A model collector sent into Everything Dinosaur a detailed review of this 2021 figure.

Megalosaurus in Ambush Reviewed

William recommends this updated version of the famous Jurassic theropod stating:

“Yes, the CollectA Megalosaurus is that good in hand – really worth purchasing”.

The enthusiastic model collector explained that Megalosaurus bucklandii was the first dinosaur to be scientifically described and named, referring to this genus as the “pride of the United Kingdom palaeo community”.

He is quick to point out that the 2021 figure replaces an earlier Megalosaurus replica in the CollectA Prehistoric Life Model series.

An early CollectA Megalosaurus model.
The first CollectA Megalosaurus figure to be introduced. This replica is due to be retired (2021).

The Megalosaurus Head Sculpt

William commented that with this new CollectA replica there was a more accurate representation of the fossil material ascribed to this genus. Specifically, when discussing the head of the new model, he stated that the muzzle was well defined and the skin folds under the jaws were a nice touch. William added that there was excellent definition with the nostrils, eyes and ear vents commented upon. He also noted the addition of lips on the model, a detail that reflects current palaeontological debate.

Lips depicted on the new for 2021 CollectA Megalosaurus dinosaur model.
The new CollectA Megalosaurus has lips.

The Limbs, Arms and Torso of the Megalosaurus Figure

The position of the limbs and arms were praised for their anatomical accuracy, although the reviewer commented that the feet on the model were a little over sized, presumably to help with model stability and to prevent the need for a display base. William liked the long and sleek torso and briefly commented upon this theropod body plan being reflected in later allosaurids and tyrannosaurids.

When commenting on the tail, the model collector explained that the tail was well proportioned and he liked the dorsal raised scales that ran down the body and along the tail.

CollectA Megalosaurus in ambush dinosaur model.
The new for 2021 CollectA Megalosaurus in ambush dinosaur model. This figure was reviewed by an Everything Dinosaur customer.

Colouration and Skin Texture

William described the model’s colour scheme stating that the main base colour was a grey-beige with black muzzle points and dark colouration around the ears. Striping ran down the flank and the tail, before giving way on the torso to black spots. He commented on the “natural appeal” of the figure and praised the fine sculpting along with the throat and belly folds and wrinkles.

CollectA Megalosaurus Size and Scale

In William’s review he provided the following measurement information and proposed a scale of approximately 1:38 for the CollectA figure.

  • Length = 6.25 inches
  • Height = 2 inches
  • Scale 1:38

William’s Megalosaurus Biography

In addition to making comments about the CollectA model, William provided some information on the discovery and scientific description of Megalosaurus.

He explained that strange, unexplained fossil bones and been unearthed from stone quarries in England and that they had caught the attention of leading academics of the day such as Professor Robert Plot of Oxford University.

  • Time: 166 mya (approximately) – Bathonian faunal stage of the Jurassic
  • Location: England and Europe
  • Family: Megalosauridae
  • Subfamily: Megalosaurinae
  • Species: Megalosaurus bucklandii
  • William’s size estimate 20 feet/6 metres long, weight 15,000 lb (7,000 kilograms)
Megalosaurus fossil material on display.
The Megalosaurus display case (Oxford Museum of Natural History). This exhibit contains some of the actual fossils used to name and describe this genus of theropod dinosaur.

A Predator of the Jurassic

Concluding his comprehensive review William explained that Megalosaurus was one of the largest theropods known from the Middle Jurassic and it probably was the apex predator in the ecosystem, often stealing from the kills of other smaller theropods such as Cruxicheiros and Iliosuchus.

Finally, the reviewer commented on the work of the Reverend William Buckland and the French comparative anatomist Georges Cuvier that led to the formal description of this large, meat-eater at a meeting of the Geological Society of London on the 20th of February 1824.

William commented:

“The first named dinosaur Megalosaurus was the spark that set the world ablaze with a deep passion for dinosaurs”.

To view the range of CollectA Age of Dinosaurs figures available from Everything Dinosaur: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models.

CollectA Megalosaurus in Ambush Reviewed

By | May 2nd, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases, Product Reviews|

Megalosaurus was scientifically described way back in 1824 (Buckland), over the last 197 years, this dinosaur has had a number of makeovers. The lizard-like quadruped as depicted in the world-famous Crystal Palace dinosaur sculptures may be long gone, but its appearance is still debated. For example, did theropod dinosaurs have lips? The new CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Megalosaurus model provides collectors with a very modern interpretation of “Big Lizard”, lips are included along with a plume of bristles beginning at the back of the hips and running about a quarter of the tail’s length.

CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Megalosaurus in Ambush
The CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Megalosaurus in ambush figure. The muted tones would have provided excellent camouflage for this Jurassic hunter.

CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Megalosaurus

Part of the extensive CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular range, this new for 2021 Megalosaurus replica replaces an early CollectA Megalosaurus that was first introduced around eleven years ago. The “kangaroo posture” has gone, the hands are not pronated and the feet have been correctly proportioned.

The model is more scientifically accurate and it has been posed “mouth shut” a more natural pose than the previous figure with its large, open jaws revealing a set of beautiful but unrealistic white teeth.

CollectA Megalosaurus dinosaur model (circa 2010)
The original CollectA Megalosaurus that was introduced in 2010. This original Megalosaurus figure from CollectA has been replaced with a more scientifically accurate model.

Iconic Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We think William Buckland, Richard Owen and indeed Robert Plot who first published a description of a Megalosaurus fossil bone back in 1676, would be most impressed with this figure. They probably would not recognise this interpretation. It reflects how far our understanding of the Dinosauria has changed.”

CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Megalosaurus in Ambush
The CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Megalosaurus in Ambush dinosaur model. It looks like it has a smug expression on its face – a “Mona Lisa Megalosaurus”.

That Knowing Expression

The design team at CollectA have given their new Megalosaurus model lips. This is in line with some of the latest scientific thinking. As a result, our Megalosaurus in ambush has an intriguing expression on its carefully painted face. It’s as if it knows something we don’t!

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have nicknamed this dinosaur model “Mona Lisa Megalosaurus” – our tribute to the enigmatic look on this little figure.

Lips depicted on the new for 2021 CollectA Megalosaurus dinosaur model.
The new CollectA Megalosaurus has lips. Say hello to “Mona Lisa Megalosaurus”.

Skilfully Painted

Measuring around 16 cm in length, this is a skilfully painted model. The obvious counter shading on the previous model has gone, being replaced with more muted and subtle tones. The dark spots and stripes on the body and on the anterior portion of the muzzle contrast nicely with the underlying tan colouration.

The new CollectA Megalosaurus dinosaur model has been given a short row of bristles, a nod perhaps to megalosaur fossil material from Germany that reputedly showed evidence of an integumentary covering: Megalosaurs join the “Tufty” club.

To view the CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Megalosaurus and the rest of the figures in the CollectA Prehistoric Life range: CollectA Prehistoric Life Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models.

The Great Lizard – Megalosaurus

By | November 13th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|

Megalosaurus bucklandii

Recalling a recent visit to the Oxford Museum of Natural History which houses the fossilised remains of the first dinosaur to be described by scientists – Megalosaurus (M. bucklandii).  The display case features actual fossil material and casts of this nine-metre-long giant theropod from the Jurassic of Oxfordshire.  The specimens on show include most of the fossil material that William Buckland, in collaboration with the renowned French anatomist Georges Cuvier, used to confirm that these were the remains of a giant reptile.

The Megalosaurus Display Case – Centre Court Area of the Oxford Museum of Natural History

Megalosaurus fossil material on display.

The Megalosaurus display case (Oxford Museum of Natural History).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In the bottom left corner of the photograph that iconic lower jawbone can be seen, the display case contains the majority of the fossil material officially ascribed to the Megalosaurus genus.  In the lower centre is a drawing of the partial portion of a thighbone (distal end of the femur), that was illustrated in Robert Plot’s book “Natural History of Oxfordshire”, that was originally published back in 1677.  This fossil, sadly lost, had been found in a limestone quarry north of the city of Oxford (Middle Jurassic Taynton Limestone).  The concept of animals becoming extinct was not accepted thinking in the 17th Century so Plot, aware that the bone could not belong to any animal living in Oxfordshire, claimed that this partial thigh bone came from an elephant that had been brought to Britain by the Romans.

Later this illustration was used by the author Ricard Brookes (1763), he coined the phrase “scrotum humanum” and considered this fossil to represent the remains of a giant man.  It was not until 1824 that Megalosaurus was formally described, the first dinosaur to be so, although the Dinosauria was not erected until the early 1840’s.

A Close-up View of the Skull and Jaw Material on Display

Megalosaurus bucklandii fossils.

A view of the skull and jaw material associated with the first dinosaur to be scientifically described (Megalosaurus).  The left premaxilla is a cast.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A sequence of Megalosaurus footprints can be seen on the lawn in front of the Museum. Visitors can literally “walk in the footsteps of a dinosaur”.  This sixty-metre long trackway is comprised of tridactyl print casts, copies of the dinosaur tracks discovered at the Ardley Quarry site (Oxfordshire), in 1997.

Megalosaurus bucklandii

By | June 18th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|

Buckland’s Great Lizard

Whilst visiting the Oxford Museum of Natural History, we took the opportunity to take lots of photographs of the dinosaur exhibits.  Naturally, our attention was drawn to that part of the museum that featured Megalosaurus (M. bucklandii).

The Iconic Right Dentary (Lower Jaw) of Megalosaurus bucklandii

The lower jaw of Megalosaurus.

The partial dentary with teeth associated with Megalosaurus bucklandii.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The photograph (above), shows the left side of the right dentary.  Megalosaurus (M. bucklandii) was the first member of the Dinosauria to be officially, scientifically described.  The name was first coined by the English surgeon James Parkinson in 1822 and Buckland published his description in 1824.  The jaw fossil was included in the original description by William Buckland, it has the classification number OUMNH J13505.  The right dentary is the designated lectotype, Buckland did not establish any holotype for M. bucklandii, instead he used several fossils, including the dentary to constitute the type fossil material for this species.  These fossils consisted of rib bones, bones from the hind limbs, vertebrae and elements from the pelvic girdle, together these fossils (the syntypes), describe the taxon.

Megalosaurus Fossil Still Surprises

By | June 8th, 2017|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|

World’s First Named Dinosaur Reveals New Teeth

The fossils that led to the first scientific account of a dinosaur can still provide some surprises, even 193 years after the original paper describing them was published.  The first dinosaur to be scientifically described Megalosaurus (M. bucklandii), has stepped once more into the spotlight.  A team of researchers have discovered five new teeth within the lower jaw fossil of the world’s first named dinosaur.

Megalosaurus Fossils Used to Describe the First Dinosaur in 1824

Megalosaurus teeth and jaws.

Views of the dentary (lower jaw) and individual teeth (lectotype Megalosaurus).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows the original lithograph of the right dentary of Megalosaurus.  The jawbone is show in lingual* view (top) and in buccal** view (middle) with drawings of individual teeth (bottom).

Using state-of-the-art computer tomography scanning technology and three-dimensional computer generated modelling software, the researchers from the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department at the University of Warwick, in collaboration with scientists from the University of Oxford’s Museum of Natural History have been able to provide new insights about one of the most iconic fossils in the world.

One of the authors of the study, presented this week at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)’s conference in Italy, Professor Mark Williams stated:

“Being able to use state-of-the-art technology, normally reserved for aerospace and automotive engineering, to scan such a rare and iconic natural history specimen was a fantastic opportunity.  When I was growing up I was fascinated with dinosaurs and clearly remember seeing pictures of the Megalosaurus jaw in books that I read.  Having access to and scanning the real thing was an incredible experience.”

Famous Dinosaur Jawbone

In 1824, the Reverend William Buckland published a description of various fossils that had been found as quarrying tunnels were excavated at Stonesfield, north of Witney in Oxfordshire.  The fossils had been found some years before, the dentary having been placed in the collection of the Oxford Anatomy School at Christchurch College (Oxford) in 1797.  Reverend Buckland believed the fossilised bones and teeth came from a giant, antediluvian lizard, hence the name “Big Lizard”, Megalosaurus having been proposed by James Parkinson in 1822.

A 19th Century Interpretation of Megalosaurus Compared to a Modern Interpretation of M. bucklandii

The changing view of Megalosaurus.

A modern interpretation of Megalosaurus (left) with a reconstruction based on the original illustration by Richard Owen (right).

Picture Credit: University of Warwick/Mark Garlick

The illustration above shows an artist’s impression of how Victorian palaeontologists such as Richard Owen thought the Megalosaurus looked (right), compared with a modern interpretation of this Middle Jurassic carnivore.

Digital Three-Dimensional Image of the Dentary

Using state of the art CT scanning technology and specialist three-dimensional analysis software, Professor Williams took more than 3,000 X-ray images of the world-famous Megalosaurus jawbone, creating a digital three-dimensional computer generated image.  The image revealed five previously unseen teeth embedded in the dentary and also provided important insights into historical repairs.  It turns out that there is actually less plaster and filler in the fossil, as this technique has allowed scientists to see the extent of the infilling and repairs for the first time.

Megalosaurus bucklandii was Probably an Apex Predator

The Megalosaurus model (Oxford Museum)

Dinosaur in the Garden (Megalosaurus)

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The specimen is damaged, it is likely that some of the damage occurred when the fossil was excavated but over the two hundred years since the fossil was found some restoration work has taken place.  For example, records at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, where the specimen is housed, show that sometime between 1927 and 1931 repairs to the jawbone took place.  The scans show the true extent of repairs on the fossil for the first time, revealing that there may have been at least two phases of repair, using different types of plaster.  This new information will help the museum make important decisions about any future restoration work on this iconic fossil.

The analysis also revealed the presence of five teeth that had not been detected before.  The teeth consist of the remains of old, worn and broken teeth plus embryonic replacement teeth.  Unlike us, Megalosaurus was able to continually replace its teeth throughout its life.  The replacement tooth grew inside the jaw, adjacent to the root of the active tooth on the lingual* side of the jaw.  A full-sized, but very thin crown formed first and this grew in thickness as more layers of dentine were added.  The growth of the embryonic tooth placed pressure on the active tooth root, causing the root to become slowly reabsorbed into the jawbone.  The replacement tooth was able to push itself inside the old tooth root and effectively usurp that tooth from the socket in the jaw where it had been located.  The old, worn tooth having been weakened, would most likely break and the crown would be lost, permitting the younger tooth to replace it in the jawline.  A similar process is seen in extant Crocodylia today.

Helping to Identify Forgeries

This research was made possible through a collaboration between Professor Williams’ research group at WMG, University of Warwick – including PhD researcher Paul Wilson – and Professor Paul Smith, director of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.   When not being scanned or used in other research, the Megalosaurus jawbone forms part of an extensive British dinosaur fossil display at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

An ability to utilise a non-invasive technique to map fossil material provides palaeontologists and conservators with vital information about the preservation status of a specimen.  It also identifies and maps any repairs that have taken place previously.  In addition, this technique which does not harm the fossil, can detect the presence of filler and other modifications often added by unscrupulous dealers to raise the potential value of their fossil finds.

Forgeries and hoaxes have no hiding place when it comes to CT scans.

The research was recently presented at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)’s International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference in Torino, Italy.

The scientific paper, “Utilising X-Ray Computed Tomography for Heritage Conservation: The case of Megalosaurus bucklandii”

* lingual view = a view of the side of the jaw that is adjacent to the tongue.

** buccal view = a view of the side of the jaw that is adjacent to the cheek.

How Long and Heavy was Megalosaurus?

By | March 7th, 2015|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|

Answering Questions from Young Dinosaur Fans

Lots of questions from dinosaur fans and model collectors this week.  Everything Dinosaur team members are spending some of today catching up with their correspondence.  One of the questions we have been asked this week concerned that Middle Jurassic Theropod called Megalosaurus (M. bucklandii).  A couple of young dinosaur enthusiasts had enquired about just how big and heavy this dinosaur was.  This is a difficult question to answer, given the lectotype for this species is a partial right dentary, not too many clues there as to maximum body mass.   Some authors suggest a length of around six metres, although most suggest that this meat-eater grew to lengths in excess of nine metres.

As for body weight, this is not easy to estimate with any degree of certainly.  However, it is very likely that this dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic weighed in excess of one tonne, possibly as much as three tonnes, according to some authors.

Providing Information on Megalosaurus (M. bucklandii)

A scale drawing of Megalosaurus.

A scale drawing of Megalosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Say Hello to “Meg” the Megalosaurus

By | January 30th, 2010|Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|

Meet “Meg” the Megalosaurus

It is always a pleasure to come across a company that cares passionately about what they do and how they create their products.  One such company is Dice Maestro the developers of the dinosaur themed card and dice combat game – Jurassic Wars.  We had the chance to meet up with the designers behind this award winning game the other day and we were introduced to “Meg” one of the meat-eating dinosaurs featured amongst the ten Theropod dinosaurs in Jurassic Wars.  “Meg” as she is called, is actually a Megalosaurus (Megalosaurus bucklandii), a swift hunter from the Mid Jurassic.

Say Hello to “Meg” the Megalosaurus

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

It is very appropriate to have a Megalosaurus to promote this British manufactured game, after all Megalosaurus was the first dinosaur to be scientifically studied and formerly described and one of original founder members of the Order Dinosauria as stated by that famous English anatomist, Sir Richard Owen.

To view the game: Dinosaur Board Games and Puzzles

A great picture, an example of the lovely artwork that can be seen on all twenty dinosaur cards included in the Jurassic Wars game.  The running pose reminds of the the three-toed, dinosaur trackway in Oxfordshire that has recently been granted SSSI (site of special scientific interest) status.

To read more about this important dinosaur trackway: Dinosaur Footprints Get Special Protection

Although, ichnologists (scientist who specialise in studying tracks and footprints), cannot be sure what sort of meat-eating dinosaur made those prints, it could have been a Megalosaurus like “Meg”.  The illustration shows this beautifully balanced dinosaur in mid stride with its jaws opening perhaps depicting the last moments of a chase as this hunter prepares to attack its victim.

A delight to encounter “Meg” and a lovely illustration of this Jurassic carnivore.

Megalosaurus makes its Mark

By | June 26th, 2008|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|

Megalosaurus Footprints being Prepared for Display

Fossilised tracks made by a fierce Jurassic carnivore when Oxfordshire was part of a sub-tropical paradise have made a perilous journey to their new home, where they will go in display in the Autumn.

The fossil footprints, measuring 50 cm across have been transported from the temporary storage site to the Oxfordshire Museum, where they will feature in a permanent exhibit dedicated to the dinosaur that is believed to have made these prints – a Megalosaurus.

The short trip to the museum marks the end of 10 years of excavation and planning after the trackway was first uncovered at a landfill site in Ardley, close to Bicester.  The twenty-five mile trip from the storage site, where the fragile prints were prepared for their perilous journey, to the museum took five hours.  Project Manager, Tom Freshwater, who works at the Oxfordshire Museum, commented:

“The prints weigh three tons each so the main challenge has been getting them into the garden, where they will be displayed.  They had to be lifted very gently and smoothly because the rock is quite fragile and there are already cracks within the stone so we had to make sure that did not get worse.”

The fossil dinosaur footprints had been excavated in sections, of approximately 1 cubed metre, they were encased in plastic sheeting to protect them and set on steel plates to support the weight of the stone as the rocks made their journey.  Having arrived safely at the Museum, each block was carefully winched over the Museum boundary fence into a specially prepared garden area.  A great deal of care had to be taken as each block was lifted off the lorry, swung over the fence and placed in position.  Despite their weight, the blocks are delicate and every precaution was taken to prevent any damage to the fossils.

The Museum plans to create a replica of the Jurassic environment and display the prints alongside a life-size model of a Megalosaurus.  About 30 to 40 prints were originally discovered at Ardley Landfill and Recycling Centre, run by Viridor Waste Management, and those not been transferred have been preserved in situ.  The prints are very important as meat-eating dinosaur tracks are exceptionally rare and these particular prints, believed to have been made by a Megalosaur provide evidence of a change of speed of the animal.  The spacing between the prints gets longer, indicating a bigger stride length and an increase in speed of the animal.

The exhibit is likely to be opened in October.

An Illustration of a Megalosaurus Footprint

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Megalosaurus was the first dinosaur to be named and scientifically described, although the original specimen (known as the holotype), consists of a partial lower jaw, some teeth and a few scraps of fossil bone, it appears that this dinosaur was a fierce, general carnivore, perhaps the top predator around at the time.  Although, scientists have improved their knowledge of European carnivorous dinosaurs (thanks to a number of new finds that have come to light over the last twenty years or so), the Megalosaurus genus has gained a bit of a reputation as a dumping ground for Theropod miscellany.  A number of carnivorous dinosaur fossils have been assigned to Megalosaurus, approximately 50 different genera have found themselves classified as Megalosaurus at one time or another.  The exact taxonomic relationship between these various carnivorous dinosaurs remains uncertain but at least attempts have been made to re-define the characteristics of Megalosaurus and establish other genera for meat-eating dinosaur fossils.

Megalosaurus has been referred to as a “waste basket genus”, to read an article on this: Megalosaurus – a Dinosaur Waste Basket

Megalosaurus fossils are known from Europe and Africa, it is believed that they were capable of growing up to 9 metres in length, although the fossil trackway was made by a dinosaur estimated to be 7 metres long.  Although it is impossible to precisely identify the exact species of dinosaur that made the prints, the tracks may have been made by a sub-adult animal.  Estimates of the weight of Megalosaurs vary, but the not fully grown animal that left its prints in the soft Jurassic mud all those millions of years ago, would have weighed more than 1,000 kilogrammes.

The Natural History museum created a scale model of Megalosaurus when they launched their dinosaur model collection a few years ago.  They coloured this model in orange and grey stripes, although purely speculation these markings would have helped break up this fierce hunter’s outline keeping it hidden and help it ambush prey.

To view the scale model of Megalosaurus: Dinosaur Toys for Boys and Girls – Dinosaur Models

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